It’s best not to trust a liar
So Chloe had told me some story about her Nan being willing to be the guarantor, but now she couldn’t because she was selling her house, so would no longer be a home-owner. Then, the father of her baby would be the guarantor as he owned a house. It seemed a bit strange, her ex being the guarantor and being old enough to own a house, but she gave us the address of his property and there was a scribbled signature, allegedly his, saying he would guarantee the rent. As the Local Housing Allowance was going to be insufficient to cover the rent and she couldn’t prove she could make up the remainder, she needed a guarantor.
Over the next few days, it started to niggle me, how easily she’d lied. I recalled a friend, Joanne, I had known for a few years when I lived in London. She was from Liverpool and told me how she used to have a violent partner but had finished with him. She continued to visit Liverpool every other weekend though, to see her mother, or so she told me. Then another friend informed me that Joanne had been lying to me for a year as in fact she was still seeing the boyfriend (she thought I’d be disapproving). I had previously witnessed her saying to her mother that we were just popping around the corner one foggy evening in Liverpool when I was visiting, and she then proceeded to drive her mother’s new car to a night club in Manchester. The ease with which she lied had impressed and amused me, until I realised she’d also been lying to me; then, I felt betrayed. It’s a truism that people can witness others lying or being bitchy behind others’ backs, whilst assuming the person would never do that to you.
So this Chloe was a smooth talker, chatty and friendly, but with her propensity to lie, I thought it would be a good idea for Adrian to check that the ex-boyfriend did own the house. This was something we hadn’t tended to do in the past as we’d just trusted that the guarantor information was genuine. It turned out that the address she’d given as belonging to her ex was in three people’s names at the Land Registry (it costs just £4 to do an on-line check), none of which was his name. So, we told her what we’d found out and she just mumbled something about his parents owning or renting the house… even she couldn’t come up with a good answer to that one. I didn’t say, ‘You’re a liar,’ or ‘You lied,’ just that she could come around and have her money back.
As we’d also checked her ex-landlord’s address and ownership details on the Land Registry, we wasted several hours of viewings and dealings with her, printing out application forms, conducting on-line searches, and paying fees for some of this. We should have deducted it from the money we gave back to her, as why should we pay when she was trying to rent a house fraudulently from us? But we didn’t bother; we just gave it all back to her, glad to be rid of a potentially disastrous tenant. Then, the other one, Kirsty, tried to get the house, texting us that she had £1,000. Well, after the stroppy text to Adrian, calling me a liar (even if it was true), we decided we didn’t want her as a tenant either.
The next prospective tenant was Caitlin. She seemed promising as between her and her partner, they had an income of £48,000. She said that when she came to see the house at 2pm on a Friday, she would arrive either in a convertible or a BMW…As it happened, I couldn’t find the keys to the house, and had to rush around to Andy’s mum’s house to borrow her keys, then text Caitlin to say I would be five minutes late, and then race around the house. She then didn’t turn up! I was livid, standing at the front door, phrasing and re-phrasing the texts I’d like to send to her; sarcastic ones like, ‘Thank you so much for wasting my time this afternoon. Your time obviously must be far more precious than mine,’ and, ‘I assume because you haven’t turned up that all the repayments on your flash cars mean you can’t afford rent,’ and so on. I often composed imaginary texts but I didn’t usually bother to send them.
After the no-show, I had ‘the woman with the dodgy knee,’ who came with her mother and her friend. She was in her fifties and wanted the house for herself, her husband and their kids. All three of them gushed over the house, saying there would be no problem with anything; all my requirements would be met, her cousin would be guarantor, and they had plenty of money, because they’d inherited her father’s house and her other cousin was buying it off her. I told them about Chloe, and how we checked the guarantors did actually own the houses they purported to own: ‘Oh, no problem,’ they said. They would drop the cash and completed application forms around at our house within half an hour. We never heard from them again.
Another woman and man then viewed the house on a Saturday and said they would ‘phone us on the Monday once they’d spoken to the Bond Scheme because they definitely wanted to take the house. We never heard from them again. Finally, we received a deposit from a couple, both apparently in work, and hoped that this time, they would be genuine. In all, it took six weeks, about twenty viewings and dealing with a bunch of time-wasters, but we finally found tenants.
|TIP:If you catch someone lying don’t accept them as a tenant.Always try and get a guarantor (not always possible with hard-to-let houses), and check with the Land Registry that the guarantor owns the house that the tenant says they do.|
I would like to give a little plug to some last-minute holiday deals we have going on two villas in Andalucia, Spain. The links for the two houses are:
For anyone interested in hearing the whole story and many other stories about my life as a landlord, my ebook is available: ‘Landlord Blues: Dealing with Tenants from Hell. The link is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BJO2TU0
And for those who have already read it, can I ask that you please post a review on amazon? Despite many people now having the book, not many have posted a review, so I’d be very grateful to anyone who does me this favour, using the book links to amazon.
My second book is also out, and this relates my latest adventure with a truly awful tenant – you won’t believe our bad luck with this one and all because of one stupid mistake… The link is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/house-Evicting-tenant-Landlord-ebook/dp/B00C3LSVZK
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