Prospective Tenant: No Earnings but Willing to Pay 9 Months Up Front

Hi, I wonder if you could offer insight on this prospective tenant…

The tenant in question hasn’t physically seen the property yet but the photos and video seems to tick all her boxes and she knows the area well. She has a partner who has a job overseas (in NYC) and she is currently at home in Poland but returning to the UK on 20/09 with her 16 month old. She doesn’t plan to work until her son is a couple of years older, and says she’s supported financially by her partner and her mother.

She has settled status and seemingly wants to secure the property by putting down a deposit. She has even offered to rent the flat at £100 more a month than the advertised rent! There are so many alarm bells ringing but…

  • I spoke with her on the phone and she seems extremely genuine, very nice even
  • she has offered to pay 9 months rent up front in exchange for a 2 year agreement but with an 18 month break clause
  • she will pay rent up front on a rolling basis
  • she has lived in the UK for the past six years at three separate properties, two of which (over a five year period) were introduced by LifeResidential in London
  • she has provided copies of tenancy agreements confirming the same, in addition to copies of bank statements confirming the rent has gone out of her account

I will of course go through formal channels to obtain references, especially those via the estate agent to confirm rent was paid, etc, but she will of course fail the financials given her lack of a job. I’m relatively new to being a landlord (one year) and very much want to trust her, but at the same time if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right?

That being said, she’s gone to a lot of time to evidence her seemingly good rental history, and what could possibly be her angle if she was trying to dupe me? Has anyone come up against anything like this before?

Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing any thoughts!

Definitely sounds like she is desperate.

  1. Make sure you see proof that the money is her savings and have been in her account.

  2. Make sure she provides information about the partner and the mother, that they have sufficient money to pay and that they are happy to be guarantors.

  3. Figure out why she would want a break clause at 18 months but pay 9 months up front. That is a very long period.

conmen and women are convincing . That is how they work. You have to go on your gut feeling .Money is not everything


The bank statements show that they’re coming from her mums account in Poland (ING Bank) and she’s provided statements confirming the rental payments since 2015. The problem is even if her mum were to be guarantor, how easy would it be to enforce the agreement given that she’s based in Poland?

What information would you get about the partner and mum given that they’re not on the lease?

Not really sure what you mean re the last point - apologies again, but i’m fairly new to this. Is it not simply a case of her wanting to have a clause to break after two payment periods?

Thanks so much for replying.

So, you have no legal recourse on the mother in Poland. I’d stay clear of her.

So, when you say “after two periods”, are you specifying in the contract that she pays 9 months rent each time instead of one advance payment of 9 months and subsequently monthly?

For you, it might be complicated to have a break clause at 18 months - what if, for whatever reason, you want to evict her? Would you want to wait 18 months?

The partner (and mother, but I wouldn’t) must be a party to the contract if you consider them. As guarantors, they sign the contract. You check them the same way you check a tenant:

  • credit check and income
  • property ownership

Yes, she’s willing to pay 9 months twice, followed by a 6 month payment, and assuming it’s renewed, in six month periods thereafter.

Agreed, it seems highly unlikely that i’d be able to recover rent from someone who lives in Poland, and so would be a pointless exercise to include her mother. So i’m therefore basing a decision on a seemingly proven track record of her paying rent on time and without default, over a six year period.

The partner is something to explore as he does have ties to the UK.

What would you do?!

Considering all the financials stack up, the partner signs as guarantor I’d be happy to sign her as tenant.

Possibly with a shorter contract or at least a shorter break clause.

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This sounds risky. I cant see any positive reason to return to the UK in her circumstances.

Too many things to go wrong there. I would swerve and find someone less complicated.

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