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  • Buy-to-Let

    Should I let to a tenant with a CCJ?

    Hi all,

    I have a prospective tenant that has been referenced by the agent and found to have 4 CCJ's against a previous residential address between 2011 - 2016.

    The CCJ's were between £600 and £4800 and only one of which was declared to the agent when questioned (the others were unknown according to the tenant). The tenant claims they are the result of a previous relationship and attributes them to their partners activities and associated debt. The address was owned by the tenant and their partner previously.

    Normally I would not entertain such a history, however the tenant has offered to pay 4 months’ rent as a deposit/advance rent plus separately the first month in advance. The tenant claims to want a long term tenancy and fresh start with their two children (one of which is also in full time employment), but is understandably finding it difficult . Currently they are living with a friend, however no guarantor is available to underwrite.

    I like the idea of providing a service to help others, however I do not want to be financially exposed to unacceptable risk, hence I now always go for RGI.

    In this situation I am torn and considering offering a 6 month AST, hence my gut feel is to continue with the referencing to validate salary, debt and employment status etc and then meet for an open discussion, although I do not want to waste anyone's time if this is something that I should not be entertaining under any scenario. Would be very interested to hear what others would do in this situation? Thanks in advance.

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    This is a very personal decision and only you can decide 

    This may help ...

    Your business head is in conflict with your emotional head

    What draws you in most .

    The 5 months up front or the rehabilitation feel good factor

    With me its a combination of both and that provides naturally a conflict within

    95% of LL`s would say no I suspect but landlording is just part of who you are

    Its the other part of you which is also dealing with this,  and good on you for even attempting this

    Some LL`s will give 10% of their income to the church/ special charity / their daughters etc

    We all choose a path in life . Often it draws praise , often it draws criticism so stick to your guns

    I would always meet the person first and spend time with them to hear their back story

    The paper record tells me only 50% of what I want to know

    1 CCJ is not good but can potentially be forgiven . 4 shows a disturbing  pattern of behaviour

    Is having a CCJ a bit like an alcoholic . They make countless promises but then relapse time and time again

    So the words are great and you think they have changed and they think they have changed

    But they often have demons within which we don`t see on the surface when we interview

    And these demons often  take over at crucial and pivotal points in their lives

    These are hard to detect sometimes . Many humans are good at covering up flaws in their characters 

    So is the partner the problem . Possibly so and this person covered up for them .

    Love / dependence sometimes  does that to you . Or is it a lie to deflect the blame

    Ive taken a great mix of people who are on the verge

    Some work out great make my house look  great and makes both  me and them feel great

    Its a symbiotic relationship . I rehabilitate someone and they put a kitchen in for free for me

    So I make more than I might have done otherwise and helped put a roof over their head  . Double win

    But some relapse and burn my house down and get nicked for arson - Not so good

    But I did get  1800 compensation from the probation service

    And also a refurbed flat on the insurance for free and it added 5K to the value at least

    Every cloud as they say! .........

    So meet with them . Take your time . Tease out their full story . Challenge them at every turn .

    Sleep on it .Then decide .

    Good Luck



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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Iprd2, you sound like a decent person. I would suggest exactly the same as Jonathan....

    So meet with them . Take your time . Tease out their full story . Challenge them at every turn . 

    Sleep on it .Then decide .

    If the prospective tenant has genuinely been through a difficult period, is potentially a decent tenant and does want a fresh start, I hope they have the opportunity.

    Good luck however you decide.

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    I am finding that many applicants have ccjs . I have just finished credit checking  applicants who have 3 between them which they did not disclose. I gave them an opportunity to pay extra deposit and for me to reference their guarantor .

    They could not come up with extra deposit and the guarantor could not come up with any funds either so it was no go for me . This seems to be a sign of the times as I have written previously about applicants and bad credit.

    The ccjs were not for large amounts but what has to be remembered is that an attachment of earnings can be got at anytime which may make it harder for tenant to find their rent.  Yes its a personal decision .Hope it works out whatever you decide .

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    ``Remember there is no sentiment in business.``

    There is  - but you have to understand  sentiment  in order to improve your business 

    https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10018-...iness.html

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Find out the reasons for the CCJs and then make a judgement. A CCJ does not mean that they will not pay the rent or that you will have problems with them (though of course you might and I have had problem tenants that have cost me who had no CCJs.) Also beware of sob stories, some people with poor intentions, are very good at eliciting an emotional response in others.

    A period of unemployment, divorce, etc. are valid reasons for a poor credit record that an individual will work their way out of.

    Always a tough call, but use the CCJs as an orange flag to look deeper (if you want to).

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    I have given a second chance to people with “history” about 5 times including people in desperate situations because of beloved pets.

    I am a dog lover. All of them let me down.

    The last ones moved out, moved their 23year old layabout son in, who had a leaky pipe in the kitchen ceiling that he didn’t tell anyone about for 3months as he didn’t want the landlord  finding out about the substitution. Result, ruined ceiling ruined laminate floor ruined walls, £2,500 repair bill and no chance of recovery of any of it. Just glad he obeyed s21 notice and left.

    I am now a nasty untrusting black hatted landlord who will not give anyone a second or fourth chance.

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    Thanks for all your comments, as usual a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to draw from.

    For me personally it is exactly as JC describes, a conflict between morals/values and pure business sense.

    The common theme I have picked up with both LL's and non-LL's is that the vast majority would not touch this with someone else's bargepole but then if we all thought like this the world would be a poorer place!

    As Vanessa would say, I think I'll let the world turn another time before making any decision. Thanks again!

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    I discriminate against prospective tenants without a record of paying in-full & on-time, looking after the property or getting on with neighbours.  Entirely legal.  I recommend this business strategy!

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    If I was in your position and decided to go ahead with these tenants then I would be looking at landlords rent and legal insurance ... I have just spent 8 months getting out non paying tenants that left £3850 in damages ... I was pleased to have had this cover in place .

    I am not suggesting these people would be the same ... but they come with history, which already they have tried to partially declare .. I think as others say .. it's a conflict of your personal nature to your business head .

    In my case I will only ever now use my business head ... tenants can come across as lovely from the off .. but once they sign that contract things can change .

    We are all about to get 3 year contracts imposed ... tenants will be able to leave on a months notice .... the section 21 will be gone ... all worth considering before you day .. Yes

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