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  • Buy-to-Let

    Rent in advance

    I’ve an application from a prospective tenant, nothing about them seems untoward, but they’ve only been in the uk a year, don’t have a guarantor. Bank statements show a healthy balance and what i’d call a sensible handling of their money.
    In the past i’d have gone for a larger deposit, but thats now not possible. They have offered to pay 6 months rent upfront, is this a legal option? I’ve been given the opinion by a fellow landlord that doing so could be questionable in that it could be seen as taking an additional payment to secure a tenancy, even though it then becomes rent as time passes.

    Does anyone have a definitive answer?
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    I have taken rent in advance myself a few times . While ago RLA even had paperwork for this .

    I took 6months in advance with RLA agreeing that if it was made clear on contract all would be ok .

    I am aware that RLA no longer promote this as it comes with risks.

    Hope this helps .


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    You can agree whatever rental period you like.  It is important that the tenancy agreement is 100% clear on what payments you take - i.e. if it's rent, it's rent. 

    Any suggestion of money going back to the tenant or being held for some reason - that's a no-no as it is questionably a deposit. 

    Rent does not have to be charged monthly.  I did one myself like this last year, for a similar reason.

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    We have one of these, RLA told me ( I think) the only thing to be very careful of is that if they want to pay 12months in advance you make it a 13month contract with the date the 13th month payment is due made clear, otherwise if they have paid for a 1 yr tenancy in one lump you might need to give them one years notice. If you are a member of an assoc ask them, then they are liable

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    I’ve just got off the phone, and you’re correct, a section 21 is connected with the last rent payment , so the suggested method is that ( for a 6 month contract) you take an initial 5 month payment and the last month as a separate payment thus setting the sec21 notice at one month.
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    One thing to remember just because they pay 6 months up front don't think you need not to inspect the property regularly. You will probably be ok but paying 6 months/12 months up front is the modus operandi of many using rental properties for growing drugs.

    They think by paying up front you will never inspect the property . many have been caught out by this. Just beware.

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