Private renting - worries


I found a house to rent in the city centre (Liverpool) which ticks all the boxes… accepts pets , fair price and close to work and transport links.
I found the advert on gumtree. I went to view the property and immediately liked it . We sent over copies of our ID, pay slips and utility bill. I also paid £3 to check the land register to make sure that the landlord owns the property. This checked out . I paid the deposit of £2000 which the landlord has said will register with the deposit scheme and we pay £2000 the day before we move in.
I was sent an email receipt for my deposit that I have paid.
I’m just feeling a bit nervous as previously I have rented with estate agents and a bit worried that it’ll turn out to be a scam etc .

Thanks for reading

I rent out in liverpool Not in city centre tho… Is the 2nd lot of £2k a months rent ? If so that must be a great place !! I would be wanting the key when paying the 2nd lot of £2k You could have asked to see the landlords I D … eg a driving licence He/ she arrives in a car ? Take number plate reg


Hi yes the £2000 is for the months rent and they have asked for this before they handover the keys… so tye tenancy agreement states “rent due before 1st August”

I usually ask for deposit and rent at the same time as we sign and also give the keys. But other landlords will have a different view Did you pay cash? Get a receipt ?


Thanks . No I paid by bank transfer . My bank asked me to choose what service it was for so I ticked renting a property and I had to upload evidence, so I uploaded the first page of the tenancy agreement with the landlords details and my details . Then the bank approved the transaction . I also got an email receipt for the deposit .
They do seem genuine and I’m probably worrying over nothing , but I’ve never rented from a private landlord outside of estate agents.


that sounds good a scammer will ask for cash.


Thanks . I read your reply wrong at first and thought you wrote “that sounds like a good scammer” … nearly had a heart attack :joy:
Thanks again , I can look forward to planning now :slight_smile:

Sorry it is my lack off commas and full stops

No don’t worry , I really appreciate your replies . Certainly put my mind at ease.

the landlord should provide you with certain docs on or before the tenancy. The below is a (non ) comprehensive list but some may point to the bona fides and you can ask for it now

  1. EPC E or below
    2.EICR < 5 years old with no category 1 or A actions
    3 ICO license current (information commissioner office data protection)
  2. legionella protection policy (can be a note)
    5 PAT (non mandatory unless HMO)
  3. certificate of deposit protection.
  4. buildings insurance details (non mandatory)

You can ask for some or all of this now which may give you a clue to the authenticity and for that matter the professionalism of the landlord.

It seems your concern is based around whether the landlord is who they are reported to be. When you made a bank transfer did the bank confirm the account belonged to the apparent owner or did you have to override this?

As a landlord I take and insure the deposit but only take the rent the day before the tenancy actually begins. There is no contract until the start of the tenancy as in some circumstances the landlord can’t deliver e.g. can’t get vacant possession. So that part is normal and in order.

If the landlord uses Openrent or an online white label agent like that it will act as an agent and hold your money in trust. You are in an unusual position and it would be in order to ask for ID. You could even ask the landlord directly as a direct arrangement with no agency on or off line is not involved.
What about knocking at the door of the flat you are about to rent and checking with the tenant?
I can see your cause for concern and hope it turns out to be just nerves but I believe you are right to check this and if somebody has your money who shouldn’t have it there is a worry about it not being returned to you.

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Have you not got their details. Ie full name, address checked on social media. Like you say going privately is a risk and thats a lot of money. When you paid it to their bank did your bank check the identity of the account like mine does.

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Thank you all for your replies, certainly put my mind at ease, as like you say renting privately is a worry.
Yes their name matched the name identified when I sent the deposit via online banking, and my bank also asked me to provide evidence of the rental so I uploaded the first page of the tenancy agreement.
As I am not from Liverpool and didn’t sign the tenancy on the day I took a blank copy with me where the landlord put his details on and he asked me to input my details and then screenshot this to him via email. I expect we wouldn’t actually get the tenancy agreement anyway until immediately prior to moving in and paying the first months rent in advance .

When I checked the land registry and did a bit of googling they own it under a shared ownership scheme to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder.
Their details matched up . They’ll be living there until next month as they are also relocating for work purposes.
Thankfully I have a couple of weeks leeway in case it falls through. Fingers crossed it doesn’t .

they should send you an agreement in time for you to review and if appropriate negotiate well before the start date. It won’t be binding until you take possession but you should still see this as it will contain numerous provisions including possibly some tricky ones

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Thanks. In effect they gave me a blank copy of the tenancy agreement so I’ve had time to read it , I just haven’t got a signed tenancy agreement yet

shared ownership first time buyers don’t qualify for buy to let mortgages.

Yup. Sounds like a scam to me especially when the rental is £2000!

There are lots of properties that are advertised at £2000pcm
If it was a scam surely the LL would have ceased communicating with me ?

A Shared-Ownership property is targeted for First-Time buyers to help them get up the property ladder. More often than not you are not allowed to sub-let the property unless you have special permission from the property co-owners which is usually a Housing Association. As such, the property is likely to be at the lower end of the property market, certainly not in the £2000 pcm bracket. In this case, your landlord could be scamming the Housing Association if permission is not obtained to sub-let. I’m not sure what your legal rights are in this case.

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Thanks for letting me know. So the tenancy agreement will be worthless and they could just change locks and throw us out ?
Not sure it’s a good idea proceeding :frowning:

The bottom line is whether or not your landlord has permission to sub-let. Is the property fully furnished?