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Not sure which place to put this, as could apply to most BTL.
I have a student HMO and normally the agent lets the place around January and the incoming Students pay the first months rent in advance to me (via the agent) at the same time.(around now) to secure it for moving in Aug/Sept
I dont protect this as its not the deposit (that is transferred a couple of days before they move in and that has to be protected etc.)
The agent has said that this year they have taken legal advice and they cant issue it to me, it needs to held by them until we are "owed"it ie: start of the tenancy in Sept.
So two questions; is this right due to a recent change or has this always been the wrong thing to do. ( or is this all twaddle to hold on to the cash)
My issue is I have much less leverage around them moving in, as all I have is a signed contract.
Im really not sure what legal argument they would have to hold back funds. I would simply change the agent next year or at least tell them that this is your intention unless they change their policy back to what you are accustomed to from previous dealings. ... The only thing that I can think of is that they do not trust you???Tell them that you have spoken to your landlord association and they do not agree. Ask them for the legal citing, or legal opinion from their solicitor or barrister to state that this is a legal opinion and under what section of the law do they base their legal opinion on.In my case, we do something very similar but we usually take a zero damage deposit and just take rent in advance. We usually take the first months pro rata rent on moving in so that the rent due date is always the first of the month and we also take the last two months rent at the end of the contract plus any pro rata days at the end of the contract - rent in advance does not have to be registered and is not a deposit.In summary, dictate the rules to the letting agent and also tell them that you’ve checked with other agents in the area and they do not have the same policy.Good luck
When the initial rent payment needs to be made will depend on the terms of the contract (tenancy). Specifying in the tenancy that the first month's rent is due when the contract is completed may be one way to address this - the tenancy becomes a binding contract when entered into, which can therefore be before the moving-in date. Without this, the tenant can argue that their obligation to pay the rent has not yet fallen due.
Thanks for the replies guys. A clause in the contract sounds ideal way to address