Pay rents before you stay

I am a tenant and pay my rents in advanced or pay before l stay. Must l so so? Why is it that many landlords make as if it is a law?
What good and bad experiences have you in relation to pay before you stay. I appreciate your arguments

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Pretty sure there is no law saying this but pretty much I’d say 99% of all ASTs work this way, however it ended up that way rather than paying at the ‘end of each month’ I don’t know. I guess you could try asking a landlord to do it the other way but when nearly all tenants find it normal to pay a month in advance you may struggle, they maybe also be a bit nervous setting up a tenancy in this way as it’s difficult to get a property back so makes sense to let their investment out to tenants who are willing to pay a month down at the start before they handover the keys.

I also don’t know how it’s ended up this way but I always would take rent before. It gives me a sort of guarentee/makes me feel happier knowing that they have paid for the next month rather than them live there for a month and then decide not to pay.

Hi Samantha,
Thanks for the feed back. You and Daniel have a reflection which lean towards landlords and investors. It is very re-assuring for them but does not also consider the situation of tenants. For example, when renting a property, tenants have to pay agents’ fees, deposits and a month in advance. This is a lot to ask from a tenant. Why is that this flexibility in practice is mostly done by the tenants and not the landlords. My concern here is that, when circumstances change and a tenant can no longer pay in advance, Landlord tend not to be flexible but resort to threats as if the tenant owes them; simply because the tenant can only afford to pay after staying. I would like to hear from tenants who think payment in advance is the best option.

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I wouldn’t say it’s VERY reassuring for the landlord as the tenant can stop paying at any point. There are no longer agent fees so that will now help you. I can appreciate it is a lot to pay for deposit and first month initially but we need to take deposit to cover for any damages etc by the tenant. If they leave the property how they received it then they will get the deposit back and can then use that to put down on their next property if/when they decide to move. If there are a change in circumstances do our mortgage companies say that’s ok don’t worry about paying your loan…no…we still have mortgages to pay each month and other outlays but I don’t think some tenants realise this?

Hi Samantha

I am struggling to understand why paying for your mortgage will depend on the ability of tenants to pay rents. Is that really a criterion the bank uses to accord a mortgage?

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You dont have to but you would not get my property. Would you pay for your groceries after you have eaten them. Of course not. Its about buying something not being allowed to try before you buy. Landlords on the other hand need to protect themselves against unscrupulous people which I do and always will.


Yes one of the criteria the bank loan the money is dependant on how much rent you will recieve. They don’t want to be out of pocket just like landlords don’t. Where will the money come from to pay the mortgage if tenants don’t pay their rent? I have my own house that I live in to pay for and don’t want/can’t afford to be paying for tenants to live as well.

Paying for a services or product up front is pretty much the norm of any economical system. the only time you do not pay the exact amount of a service or product up front is Gas and Electricity. with those utilities, the energy company cannot say how much you will be using therefore they charge after months usage and often times it is with estimates as well.

You pay petrol before it goes into the tank (Pay at pump); You pay for supermarket shopping before you take the shopping home and put them in your fridge; you pay your monthly broadband and mobile contract cost before you use them; you pay for drinks at the bar before you drink it into your stomach; you get your wage after a month of work not in advance.

that is just how the society works, and it protects the vendor as well as the consumer.

In the case for property letting, a landlord will often have a buy to let mortgage which requires monthly repayment. if you insist on not paying the first month before your stay expires, then the landlord will have to cover that month out of his or her own pocket. that assuming you are the exception and everyone else pays a month in advance. If every tenant is to pay month in arrears, then you will have situations where tenant can abuse the system by effectively free staying in a property from the onset without shelling out a single penny. and the eviction process in this country is long as it is so from a landlord perspective it is a HUGE risk.

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Morning Samantha,
I can understand your line of thought. The bank ask how much rents will you receive (Of Course normal) but not the method you will used because the market forces are very variable.

I do not want us to drift away from my initial quest. My reflection was never to prevent tenants from paying their rents but when to pay. Paying in advance or not and why?.

I am aware that the method of payment is not legislated and it is left in the open market (Market economy) where the forces of demand and supply can work; either in favour of the landlord or tenant. Also, landlords also vary in their aims and objectives even-though in the same industry. That is why I thought a debate will clarify the position of landlords and tenants.

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Morning Christine,
You are are correct and has the absolute right to protect yourself against unscrupulous people for instance tenants. we should not also be naive to forget unscrupulous landlords as well. It is a two-way traffic argument I suppose.

I will beg to differ in your attempt to compare a property (An asset) with groceries. In a market economy,such as that of UK, demand and supply is the meeting point for landlords and tenants. I am aware that you or me can refuse to pay for a meal in a restaurant if it is not what was described but it is already eaten or tasted. This is unlikely to happen in housing industry.

I still raise my point. Why should tenants pay in advance and why?

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I appreciate you argument Richard but we can always argue about consumer protection rights as well as that of the vendor.

The market economy functions like that which is normal.Just deciding to become a landlord is already a HUGE risk and I wonder whether there is any risk free business venture especially in property development. There are many risks that surrounds property development and rental payment is only one - inflation, natural disasters, etc. Many of them can be covered by having an appropriate insurance cover for the property.

Good afternoon Canisius

Simply because tenants who default get away with it leaving Landlords thousands in debt with no recourse. A tenant has seen the goods they either want it or they don’t. My properties are all refurbed to a high standard and prospective tenants are shown around
the property. If I lose money which I have to the tune of £4000 because the tenant has not paid it causes a huge strain on my finances not to mention the stress. Since I started this process I have worked out the best way of managing my properties and I
will not change it. As for one being goods and the other being property as far as I am concerned there is absolutely no difference. I show my property to be the best it can be costing thousands. A shop owner does the same because it draws the customer to
the shop to buy his goods. It may have a different name but absolutely the same principle. My terms are upfront and what you see is what you get. They are also given my full and immediate attention guaranteed should anything go wrong. Yes there are bad
landlords but they can be prosecuted, made to repay rent paid and compensate. Tenants who default will have months of free housing and no chance of getting the money back off them. If I hire a holiday home I have to pay in advance, if I hire a washing machine
I have to pay in advance, This is not a service it is a rental agreement. All rental agreements have a payment in advance. If I insure my car the first payment is in advance. All those are small payments mine is a big loss and would have consequences on
future tenants to cover those losses. Why should that be? Fortunately my tenants are fantastic and stay years rather than months. That is because I have a process which my tenants are happy with. We are forced to provide a certain standard which I do willingly
because I will not rent out a house I would not want to live in. We pay a licence fee to ensure it meets that standard. Yes a tenant is referenced but that is no guarantee of default. Where is our protection from tenant abuse of both property and payments?
I am fed up of landlord bashing and the constant taxes being imposed on us and interference and legislation of who we can rent to or how we rent it or how we can word it. I am so fed up of it that it will not take much more for me to let the government do
all the housing themselves sell up and live a happy carefree life on the proceeds. For my tenants that will be a shame because we all get on so well but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.



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Landlords might choose to allow a tenant to live free for a month in advance, but not this Landlord. If a tenant cannot pay a month in advance then it may indicate that that tenant may have financial difficulties down the line. I need to know that my investment of many thousands of pounds is going to work for me. A tenant who wanted to pay in arrears would not become a tenant of mine. It’s as simple as that.


Nobody should expect to live anywhere without paying in advance.

If you hire a car, you wouldn’t expect to drive it before paying for the hire period. Same thing really.

Tenants would just make excuses not to pay and would open the current system that works just fine, to a system based on disputes.
Not good for anyone apart from solicitors!

Some things are paid in advance, some things are paid in arrears. I think it just largely just comes down to convention.

The conventions seem to have been set by who is in a position of more negotiating power. E.g. Employers have power over employees, and employees are paid in arrears, which is to the employers benefit.

(Many landlords will feel the tenant has the upper hand today but parking that debate for a moment) Historically, landlords have had far more power than tenants, and indeed rent is paid in advance, which is to the landlord’s benefit.

When producers are are selling highly-desired products/services, they can make customers pay for them up front, which is to their benefit. When they are finding it hard to sell things, they offer the ability to pay later, which is to the consumer’s benefit.

Payment in advance is a fundamental term of the rental contract. It is closely linked to the legislation surrounding landlords’ remedies for non-payment of rent which requires arrears of two months before possession proceedings can be commenced, so payment in arrears would effectively extend the period for which a tenant “playing the system” could live rent free by one month.

For example, if a tenancy stipulating rent in advance starts on 1st June the first rent is payable on or before that date and the landlord will not sign the agreement or hand over the property until that has been paid. The second payment is due on 1st July. If the tenant fails to pay the rent due on 1st July he is one month in arrears. On 1st August with still no payment he is two months in arrears and possession proceedings can be commenced. If rent were payable in arrears the two months arrears threshold would be reached on 31st July but the difference is that in the first case the landlord has received payment for the first month before allowing the tenant to move in, in the second he has received nothing.

Affordability is a major criterion for landlords when considering applications for a tenancy and difficulty in finding the funds for the deposit and first month’s rent will raise doubts about the peson’s ability to sustain the tenancy.

I am a Landlord & Chistine or Richards answers are cleared explained. If tenants are not happy to pay in advance the other option is for them to buy their own house instead of paying rent & experience the consequences.

I possible buy the balanced reflection about the power of negotiation. This power is found in a market economy where buyers and sellers meet to determine the price of their products/assets or services. Whatever reasons underpin the landlords power of negotiation against tenants, it should not be made as if it is a norm in the market that tenants must and should pay rents in advance.

Canisius dont apply for one of my properties >If a tenant cannot find the deposit and a month in adavance he or she will be a bad risk. , I hve just had two tenants who paid 6 months in advance.