Easter can be a busy time for lettings
THE STORY SO FAR.
With over 1 million hits on the web site last month and 100’s of new members it is time to look back; as our two years’ anniversary is fast approaching and the tale of what inspired me to start landlordreferencing.co.uk .
A tale of which I know many of you are aware, was three years ago in 2009, during the Easter break when traditionally the property industry was a hive of activity with people looking for new homes. My staff were working showing properties and into our office came a smartly dressed 32 year old man who was looking for a studio flat on the grounds that he had recently finished with his girlfriend of five years-having found her in a compromising position with someone else.
We proceeded to complete an application (name, address, employer, checked him through the local credit agency at the time) and he came back with a medium to high credit rating, no CCJ’s no fraud indicators; nothing adverse. He was employed by his own Limited company which was a cleaning business which he had inherited from his dad who had passed away a few years ago. We took bank statements to confirm there were adequate funds to make any on-going financial commitment.
A previous Landlord’s reference was unobtainable as he had lived with his girlfriend in her property which was mortgaged by her. There seemed very little point in trying to obtain a reference from her!
He seemed more than acceptable as a tenant and insurable by the best underwriters – a good applicant – would you have taken this tenant based on these searches and this information?
No? Well you would be wrong because as a landlord of over 15 years, I have taken many a tenant in these circumstances and they have proven to be fantastic tenants.
If you answered YES: you would be wrong again as I was because this applicant turned out to be a cocaine and ketamine dealer who had used this story on many a landlord before to hide his real trade of drug dealing.
Shortly after letting Tenant X into the property, I received a telephone call from another tenant of mine who was concerned about the commotion next door and that they had been threatened by individuals entering and leaving the flat of Tenant X in a hurried fashion.
Because of the ineffectiveness of the police who never seemed to bother to attend such incidents, I decided to drive to the property to make sure that Tenant X was safe and not under threat. Upon arriving at the property we found the entrance open and no lights on inside the flat. I called out shouting that I was the landlord and was everything alright? The lights would not come on and I walked down a darkened corridor to make sure that Tenant X had not been harmed. Two men came running out of the flat and pushed past me, followed by a third man who was wielding a knife. He proceeded to attack me and stabbed me in the head 5 times, leaving me in the corridor wounded in a pool of blood and left for dead. This person was Tenant X and I had inadvertently stumbled across one of his drug deals, whilst he himself was heavily under the influence of drugs.
Because of the lack of evidence, Tenant X was not detained and quickly scarpered back to London. This was the “very nice and presentable man” who I had given a flat to who could now be sitting in front of you again, using the same sob story.
- If you are that landlord how will you stop Tenant X; credit checks, ID checks, even a crystal ball?
- If you are a letting agent how will you stop your landlord clients from taking Tenant X; credit checks, ID checks, etc?
- If you are a tenant, how can you stop Tenant X becoming your neighbour and perpetrating violent drug crazed crimes against members of your family?
The truth is YOU SIMPLY CAN’T; unless you are a member of landlordreferencing.co.uk or as a tenant you ensure that your landlord or letting agent is a member of landlordreferencing.co.uk. We are safe, legal and free and are fast becoming the country’s #1 neighbourhood watch, that is protecting all people from the 1,000’s of “Tenant X’s” out there.
It does not matter whether you need to do a reference now or even if you have good stable tenants because when you join us you add to the clear message that is being sent to our Government ;
“we are not prepared to stand by and let our property and communities be ruined by bad legislation and bad people.”
Please not only join us but pass the message on for others to join and above all have a Happy Easter.