How Much Rent Should I / Must I Pay in Advance When I Have Money but No Job?

Liking the site and very much hope it succeeds .Its a great idea . Wish I’d thought of it !
I’m a single non smoking petless ,bookish ,womanless ,respectful male who thinks landlords are often unfairly maligned .But I promise not to do that ever again.
Yet I’m in danger of being homeless in a week or two as the family I’m living with (who would no doubt give me an excellent reference as I’ve promised their 4 year old a giant dolls house for her upcoming 5th birthday if they do, and there’ll be hell to pay if she doesn’t get it judging by her reaction when I hid her marbles one time) are about to have another baby ! They didn’t tell me they were going to have children when I agreed to be their long term tenant years ago I might add. One minute I’ve got the flat to myself all day and part of the evening as they are Eastern Europeans and were therefore working all the time -it really is true !- and the next I’m being woken up at three in the morning by a noise the like of which I’d literally never experienced before . My God.
Fortunately I won’t be on the streets, I will be in bed and breakfast but it looks like I may well have to move to the North of England in order not to spend too much per week and I’m told they’re overly friendly and sometimes even talk to you on public transport !
My problem is I dont have a job.
I’m essentially semi retired. I’m in my 50s and used to be a tube driver. (I was always late for school.)
Unfortunately my mother died of Alzheimer’s and so her house was sold to pay for her care not that I minded not inheriting a house as the next thing you know I’d be buying curtains ,gardening and watching home improvement programmes unironically.
However I did still inherit a six figure sum and feel incredibly lucky to have done so when so many are so poor and desperate that they are forced to work in jobs where they have to deal with the public and because I basically live frugally and don’t trust anyone I still have a 6 figure sum.
Yet landlords seem to treat people in my situation as if they were claiming benefits ,Chelsea fans or ,even worse, working class English,yet I last claimed benefits when I was caring for my mother in 2004 and am a Spurs fan. I am however working class English admittedly but I definitely didn’t vote for brexit !! I never vote . But even if I did I know what side my bread is buttered and anyway I may be in my 50s but I read books on subjects other than the Second World War. Also Ive recently switched my online grocer from Tesco to Ocado and have purchased a copy of How Clean is My House.
My problem is after 4 years of living with one child Im really really desperate to be living on my own before the baby arrives but as soon as I say I dont have a job landlords react as if I’ve said I’m a Labour voter . (I’m not .I really do never vote. Plus I have O level Economics)
And then I saw your site and wondered if perhaps I could pay a large amount of rent in advance or something or at least explain my predicament and hope someone can help me. (Ideally someone who’s heard of John Pratt.)
If in fact I can find a house (as I’d love a garden) to rent I would be as happy as if I owned it . I’m really not exaggerating . Heck ,I would be happy in a tent to be honest as long there were no 4 year old children within screaming distance.
So do I have a chance of renting somewhere in the South but not London obviously as you’d be mad to pay those rents for the privilege of living in the new crime capital of Western Europe.
And if so how many months in advance would I need to pay ?
And who would I actually pay it to?
Or will I have to live in bed and breakfast after all ? If so can anyone recommend one thst doesnt accept children ?
Oh! I nearly forgot ! Back in January the flat next to me became available and I went and asked the owner if I could rent it . And I obviously didn’t get it . As soon as I saw the violin that was tastefully on display and heard the Scottish accent I knew I wouldn’t but I could hardly say so so I went through the motions . Until I was asked for references when I’m ashamed to say my tea went down the wrong way and I spilled some on their carpet ! I had laughed !
So I have a question for landlords. What is it you’re expecting my references to say ? Because I’d been living next door to the owner of thst flat for 6 years and he didn’t even know !
How can any reference top that?

Many Thanks


alot of landlords ( including me) wont take any dss tennants

if they do take dss then they will tell you what they expect from your referencing

rent in advance will definately help you

Hi Tony!

Tenant referencing is definitely an imperfect way to assess a tenant’s suitability for a property. It seems to be a one size fits all test, whereas tenants come in all shapes and sizes.

People in your position - lots of savings but little income - are a great example of this. You could easily afford the rent, but because you won’t pass the affordability check, you won’t pass most tenant referencing checks out there.

You’ve definitely identified the best solution: offering rent up front is usually a great solution that sensible landlords will be very happy with. It’s one of the main ways we recommend people can proceed if they fail referencing in our guide on how to let tenants who fail referencing.

We’d recommend paying as many months in advance as you think sensible but only as many as you foresee definitely living in the property. Paying 6 months’ rent in advance usually does it. You’d pay it straight to the landlord (or their rent-collection agent) after having agreed to do so.

You need to make sure in the written agreement that the payment is explicitly a rental payment (not a deposit), and that it is for the correct period. E.g. if your rental period is monthly, then you need to say that it is to pay for the first 6 rental periods. If your rental period is quarterly, that it is for the first 2 periods.

Best of luck finding a peaceful new home!


If you have six figures in the bank why don’t you use that to generate income? That income will then take the place of income from a job, so will be acceptable for referencing - you can show a continual stream of incoming funds to pay rent. You could angel cash out to property investors and get 10% return - massively more than you get from the banks!! If you’ve got £100,000 in the bank then you are probably earning a maximum of £2,000 a year. Invested in property you could get £10,000 a year and you wouldn’t have to do any work for that!

1 Like

I’m concerned about signing a rental contract that has no mention of the 6 months rent I’m paying upfront. The agent says just giving us a receipt is enough, and it’s normal practice. But as the contract is a legally binding document which states I’m paying monthly, if the estate agent goes bust I’m legally bound to pay the landlady monthly even though I paid the letting agent already!

Please advise me if I should sign. Many thanks.

Hi Suzie, I’d say you definitely want to make sure the contract makes mention of the up-front rent. Should be in the agent’s interest to make sure it’s clear as well.

Hope that helps.


Hi all,

I don’t want to spoil all the good comments above, but I would like to point out that a lot of landlords are very wary of tenants who offer 6 or more months rent in advance. The problem is that some tenants who pay in advance like this are using the property for growing cannabis, landlords can never be sure if the tenant is a cannabis grower or an innocent who is just in a difficult place.


1 Like

i paid 6mths up front last year as had to leave my permanent job due to health but back into work part time however at 6mths renewal agents demanded the same and renewal is due march and again they demanding 6mths up front again and refuse to not have a fixed tenancy and go periodic even though landlady wants me to stay as do I. My previously landlady was direct with for 5.5 yrs and only jmoved as she sold the property so to move again and again is so unsettling with poor health on my own and ahve not guarantor as parents sis live abroad now.

with a six figure sum you can buy a place on Merseyside never mind Renting… I lived on Merseyside and have bought a few places there