Poor reference but payment upfront

I’ve just had the references back from the agency on a couple and the recommendation is to decline unless there is a guarantor. In brief, the reasons for the recommendations are (1) she doesn’t have strong income history - due to being on maturnity leave, though is now back at work full time (2) he is employed through an agency, has not yet provided evidence of income, and only has leave to remain in the UK until Sep 2021 - although his wife is British and he intends to extend his application to remain.

I have spoken to the person who could act as the guarantor (her father, based in the UK) and, rather than go through a credit check etc he would rather simply pay the full rental (7 months intially) in advance. If I get a copy of his passport, is there any reason why I shouldn’t accept the advance payment and proceed with the rental contract? Would I be putting myself at risk?

I would ask why does he not want a full credit check… He can still then pay the 7 months. Be very careful


I’m generally not a fan of guarantor agreements. They are notoriously difficult to get right and they can expire all too readily. Likewise, payments up front sometimes have their place, but it seems to me like just kicking the can down the road. I think they’re also a big risk at a time when it can take 12-18 months to evict someone.

From what you describe, I wouldn’t write off these two, but would need much more evidence of affordability and spending habits.


I have a given tenant for my flat in summer and when he decided to take my flat and I mentioned about references check.
He was honest and said that because in past he did not take care of his finance but his father would be guarantor. His father was very cooperative and no problems with reference.

I also give a copy of tenancy contract to guarantor and signed by all parties.

So far I never had any issues whenever I had guarantor and guarantors were parent and home owner with top income.

I would say that if guarantors are genuine and nothing to worry or hide then they will not refuse for reference check.


If I get 12 months payment up front (from the dad) then I guess I don’t need to reference or contract him as a guarantor and all is fine and dandy, with money in the bank…am I missing something here?

are you a new landlord ? What about the end of 12 months . ? How do you know he can still pay? A reference costs About £20 , tax deductable Peace of mind. Hopefully. As a landlord of 40 years I can tell you, the money in the bank is NOT everything

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Believe it or not, I am not a new landlord. However, I only let one property, which is in a village, and most of the tenants have either been family of neighbours or have checked out well. These folk were living in South Africa (she is a Briti, he is South African) and have decided that the UK is somewhat safer than SA and so are currently doing the resettling stuff. Given the circumstances are rather different from my normal tenants, I just wanted to get other landlords’ take on them.

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I just let my flat to a tenant who failed Openrent referencing with a poor credit rating and CCJ. I asked him to sign up to Experian boost and send me a credit report each month to show it is improving. His contract states that if it hasn’t improved after 3 months I have the right to ask him to leave. Result is that he has an incentive to look after his money and is very grateful, i.e. likely to pay the rent on time.
I wouldn’t want the added stress of a guarantor, just trust and good communication between myself and the tenant.

Lets hope your faith is rewarded my son.

A landlord can’t end a tenancy in first 6 months by using section 21 so your 3 month clause would be unenforceable. Hopefully you wont need to try to use it.


I agree with Richard19. Its unenforceable and any eviction process is likely to take a bout 18 months from now.

Goodness. You can’t really make your own rules up and expect the courts to uphold them if you end up there. Hopefully it will work out, but I wouldn’t recommend similar courses of action in the future.


Just for information: the only way to increase a credit rating it to take on debts and pay-them off without a hiccup! The rating will vary slightly from week to week based on more than minor fluctuations in your credit card bill.

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His rating will not get better until the CCJ moves out of visibility (6 years)

Taking the full rent is not an excuse to not provide references or a guarantor
You must still take them
If he is from South Africa you shall not be able to get a good history or complete reference check if he has not been here a substantial amount of time

Before Brexit I had an offer with six months rent and a U.K. based guarantor from an Italian coming over to avoid heavy taxes post Brexit

Her story was possible but likely improbable.
Referencing from the estate agent was incomplete as she came from abroad.
I asked her to substantiate her circumstances with evidence.
I asked for proof of guarantors equity etc
The tenant alleged she was too tired to give me paperwork and I should take her word or she would find alternative accommodation

I wished her well with her future endeavours

People are using full payments as a substitute to providing a reference or guarantor

Also, as per my previous response to another similar post, wording of the contract must be such that rent is paid monthly. I would take legal advice.

If worded incorrectly you may not be able to serve a section 21 as notice periods are twice the interval of rent payment, so by the time you’ve given the appropriate notice your section 21 may have expired