Offer from Guaranteed Rent Scheme

Tenants left in August and since have been struggling to find new replacements. Dropped rent progressively over the months, but now at a point that any drop would not be profitable in the long term. Cue an approach by several guaranteed Rent scheme firms who have offer to pay rent at a price which would be acceptable for these COVID times but not great over the 3-5 year terms offered. Would like to know from other landlords their experience with such companies, pros & cons. firm that is being seriously considered states that they let to council tenants, there are obvious concerns but the contract would be with the firm, not individuals, and expectation would be to return flat to original handover condition.

I would suggest you give them a wide berth. Google ‘rent to rent scam’ if you want to know what can go wrong

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Maryanne

You are not only one struggling to find tenant. I have not find a replacement for one of my tenant since September but I did find find for other flat a month before that. I have reduced so certain level But cannot reduce any more.
Please note the company who offers 3-5 guaranteed rent because they may guarantee from the day when when will find the new contract. So if you are struggling they are likely to struggle too.
From my opinion you got the same chances of finding tenant by advertising on Openrent as any other agents because people do look for properties online.

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Have you tried contacting your councils housing department, to see if they take on properties for subletting to their applicants. I believe they are safe, certainly more so than the independent companies you referred to.

Unfortunately not all councils will do this though.

Sorry, Chris35, but I think that most experienced landlords I know what say that’s even worse.

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totally agree do not involve the council or any 3rd party, you will regret it .Read all the past posts

Fair enough. I’ve never had any experience personally, only recall landlords being interviewed on ‘Homes under the hammer’ stating they were happy with their arrangements.

But as Colin points out, I agree the councils are not trustworthy. Having said that, you would have a far better chance of making them accountable in court if necessary, than an errant tenant or a private scamming company.

I doubt that’s true about the courts either Chris. The reports I’ve read suggest that the Council often makes all kinds of promises about support for the tenant and covering the costs of any damage or unpaid rent that then don’t materialise.

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Thanks for the feedback David. Although I’m surprised to hear that. I thought these direct contracts meant the council themselves took over the actual Tenancy Agreement, making them fully liable for the rent and the repairs, and they can’t run and hide if it comes to litigation.

However, I’ve only personally had experience of their housing support department, who guarantor the bond, but they did pay out on the occasion I needed it, without any problems.

The only organisations I’ve had trouble with, are Fusion, an independent charitable group in our area that provide the same guarantor bond facility to tenants, and they baulked at every claim, one took 2 years to get it out of them. I’ve now stopped accepting applications from their sponsored tenants, always a problem without exception.

Unfortunately the last point is not entirely true. Most Estate agents have a ready pipeline of prospective tenants they can arrange viewings with. Sure in some cases the fit may not be perfect (more for the tenant) but they will get more people through the door during Covid times.

Through open rent I had about 8 inquiries in a month and 2 offers by non suitable tenants. Through a local estate agent I had 7 viewings in a week and a good offer I’ve accepted.

Hopefully next year will be better

With regards to Rent2Rent it really depends on the company. Make sure you specify if there are certain conditions for tenants. The company will be responsible for finding people, but they will need to keep the property full at all times.
Generally they make money by carving out an extra bedroom from say a lounge area, or it would be a loss making business. In normal circumstances they may also use Airbnb to fill in shorter gaps, so make sure you are ok with that.
They should also cover any small maintenance issue and dealing with tenants.
There are for sure good one, but also horror stories I’m sure

Even the good ones can go bad in covid times

Filippo1
Great news you found tenants.
I was talking about from my rental experience in my area where we have over 700 properties on the same development so any tenants interested in the same development they make viewings arrangement on the same day one after another or same week.

signing a 3-5 year agreement with any of these “schemes” gives you 3-5 years to rue the day!

I spent 2 years trying to get a local authority to end their tenancy

They destroyed my furniture pack -then denied responsibility referring me to the terms of contract -which took almost a month to arrive after signing and handing over the keys

Lots of police involvement too

Doctor David noble

“experienced” landlord

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I would say, if you’re struggling to find a tenant then definitely be open minded to a company let (maybe not direct with the council). If you get involved with the right company, you will have your monthly rent covered, all minor maintenance also looked after - Like having the perks of an estate agent without paying their fee on top.

Do your research on the company and ensure they have experience and history in the field they are in. The world has changed dramatically in the last year and ‘private working professionals’ hold little certainty that youll be getting rent coming in on it’s due date, at least with the correct company you will get your rent each month. I would recommend working with a company that has connection with the council rather then service accommodation, only because they may have the same issues with finding everyday tenants like you are, however those connected with the councils will likely have warm, ongoing relationships and have tenants ready and waiting.

At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you. It’s easy for people to tell you to avoid companies/third parties but they’re not the ones with the mortgage payment coming through at the end of the month. You have to ask yourself what’s the most important thing for you, personally I like knowing my rent is being paid each month and my mortgage is being covered. Being a year and half down the line with my own property through a company, I would recommend it, especially after the uncertain year we’ve been through, yet not once have I had to worry about my rent payment.

everyone will have a different view, depending how they have fared in the past

100% agree, I would just recommend any landlord to be open minded with regards to this option, especially if you’re open to DSS tenants anyway. A company that deals with these types of tenants but will actually guarantee you rent for it and looks after the maintenance elements other then your standard ‘landlord responsibilities’ like water and electrical issues, then it makes more sense then going direct to the local authorities.

Agreed, but as I said, things can go wrong at the worst of times, even with the best of companies. I’ve mentioned before that my Brother-in-law did a rent to rent scheme with a professional company who had about 20 other properties on their books. They were HMO specialists and seemed to know what they were doing. Two things proved to be their undoing:

  1. Covid meant that some of their tenants weren’t paying and the so called guaranteed rent was no long guaranteed
  2. They became very busy with all these schemes and didn’t notice the introduction of an Additional Licensing scheme in the borough covering 3 and 4 person HMOs.
    Their business model no longer works.

Naturally anything can course a company to go bad, poor money management, global pandemics etc. However the company I use have over 600/700 properties on their book I’m led to believe and during Covid they were expanding. Sorry to hear about your brother in laws place but hopefully it was handed back over to him after they were unable to make the rental payment.

With company lets, you just need to stay open minded, if it works for the landlord then great, if not, then stick to private tenants.

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