Self employed - 5 year old CCJ - any hope?

Hi everyone,

I’m in a bit of a weird situation. I’m self-employed, and obviously due to COVID my income has been a bit erratic.

Several years ago I had a period of ill health and my finances fell apart. Right now, I have lots of defaults and two CCJs on my file. One fully paid off and due to drop off my file in a few months, one that will be paid off next year (I’m paying it in installments).

I’m going to spend the next year saving up a deposit plus 6 months rent in advance, but then I’m going to have to move. I won’t be able to get a guarantor (I’d rather not get into the reasons I need to move, etc, because it would sound like a sob story).

My concern is that between the CCJ (which will be five years old when I need to move) and being self employed (with erratic income over the last few years due to COVID) I won’t be an attractive tenant. My history since when that CCJ hit has been immaculate. No missed payments, I’ve cleared a lot of the outstanding debt already.

Will 6 months in advance be enough? What sort of documentation would they want for my self-employed income? Are landlords being a bit more generous about only looking at Post-COVID income?

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks

just be honest about everything . Landlords hate lies and deception

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I definitely plan to be completely up-front. I’m just hoping there are things I can do in the next several months that might make life easier/increase my chances of being accepted.

For example: Would paying the CCJ faster (so it’s satisfied for longer) be any different to just continuing to pay a fixed monthly fee?

Would a deposit of more than 6 months up front be better?

Or am I overthinking this?

Thanks again.

I have been s/e for 50 years and i am a landlord >I know whats its like > But I have no CCJ S. when I went for a mortgage (a long time ago) ,they wanted 3 years accounts. As a landlord I would ask for the same, 6 months upfront AND a guarantor might sway me your way

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Getting a guarantor would be difficult, I’ve got time to think/work on it though. I’ll save aggressively too, see if I can offer even more up-front.

Fully agree with Colin3

Also, pay off your CCJ as soon as you can. It shows that you regret having it and are keen to remove it from your records.

I ve rented out my flat to someoen with CCJ from few years ago. We discussed his situation then and I considered his current situation and charachter plus he offered his mother to be guarantor too. If you are upfront you have a chance of being accepted

Thanks Brian999 - there’s only about £200 left on the CCJ so I’ll try and clear it this year.

Ewa1 - It’s nice to know there are some landlords willing to give people a chance. Getting a guarantor probably isn’t an option for me, but I was thinking of offering 6 month’s rent in advance, but saying that could go towards the back end of the tenancy - so I’d still be paying monthly rent anyway.

You might want to look into Insurance backed rent guarantees before you apply if you are having issues with guarantors and if they accept you.

I accepted a tenant with a CCJ once. He was honest about it, explained how it had arisen, and provided all the documentation so that I could check the truth of what he was saying. He and his partner handled the final pre-letting acceptance interview very well (I run these like a job interview). I assessed that he and his partner would pay the rent reliably and that assessment turned out to be correct. They stayed for 4 years, married, and bought a house. Perfect tenants.

Our most recent letting was an example of the other (and sadly more typical) situation. Three of the applicants had CCJs. All three claimed these were a result of an ex partner getting them into financial trouble. I told them what documentation I would need to see to prove that what they were saying was true and I never heard from any of them again.

You can’t generalise in this business, every applicant is an individual. The only generalisation I feel able to make is that there is a extraordinarily high percentage of people in our society today who will say anything to get what they want, whether it is true or not. I don’t take anyone or anything on trust nowadays. As an aside, hope its not off-topic, I think the propensity to lie is being encouraged by the behaviour of the politicians. All of them. They will say anything, absolutely anything, with a straight face. I think this behaviour is trickling down through society.


I think honesty is the best policy. For me, if someone applies and explains a situation honestly (especially if it was a historic CCJ) I would give the case due consideration along with all the other factors, such as employment and references.

Best of luck with the situation moving forward.

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what a truth about politicians. I had not thought about it filtering down. You may well be right. . People may think “they lie, so why can t I do the same ?”

I have found that if you in any way don’t fit, even a year in advance is not enough.

Many landlords seem to think renters are somehow “the criminal class” and weirdly offering more money makes them more nervous about taking you. How is it you have enough for a deposit, but don’t own a house? You must be a drug dealer…

I have a list of 30 or so landlords I have tried. As mentioned in another discussion, being an orphan, means I cannot give a guarantor, and many “referencing” systems simply don’t allow for the possibility. It’s not that they turn you down, it’s that many computer systems simply don’t allow you to submit the forms. Often I find myself so offended, that I simply give up on the whole thing.

I have a clean credit record, just no parents, go figure?

I have never asked for parent details as I prefer tenants over 30 ish I do not think I have ever asked for a guarrantor, but I have been offered one and 6 or 7 months in advance rent without asking for it. A guarrantor does not have to be parents. can be Aunts ,Uncles ,Friends.

The same for me. I have never asked for any family info. Not sure why that would even be relevant.

One current tenant moved bed out of his parents’ house straight to me. When I confirmed that with the credit referencing details I even skipped the LL reference.

Maybe not the best scenario but hey, so far so good.

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