Does bad advice leave landlords vulnerable? | Discuss

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Does bad advice leave landlords vulnerable?
20/08/2012
3:53 pm
stonehouse
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Hello I am now a member to this website after having followed it for many years but never joined and have to say, I am very impressed with it's fairness and decency content. I feel obliged to write this article to bring to attention something that worries me a bit about about an article i was sent over recently

As I am involved with issues in data protection and tenants and therefore would like to offer the members of this forum an insight into the problems with this article. I have posted the link here Can a letting Agent disclose a tenants details to a landlord. So you can read the article if you wish. I cannot post on the site in response as I am not a letting agent.

The article opens with the introduction. 

“There has been a lot of discussion (About data protection) on the internet of what can and cannot be disclosed to a landlord, so what I want to do now is to try and explain how we deal with our tenant’s data” they then go on to say “the tenant provides us with a variety of information for the purposes of referencing. Before the reference in completed, each tenant signs a declaration provided by the referencing company, This declaration allows the referencing company to pass the results to the agent and/or landlord. (So far so good. But what if the landlord asks “us” for that information? As it currently stands we tell the landlord that whilst we are in possession of that data, we are not at liberty to pass that information to them”.  

So I ask the writer of this article, why? . Is it because you have not tried too is that why!,  Because I believe the  statement above is actually erroneous for agents who wish to work with and protect their landlords. A good agent would get the applicant tenant to sign a declaration to say that they would be sharing the data with other parties for the purpose of referencing and one of those parties must be the landlord.  They went on to say that to give the landlord the tenants details  “would contravene the DPA”  again this statement has been plucked from the ICO website and does not offer the true facts on a landlord and tenants contractual relationship.  Any landlord has the right to know the details of their tenant. They have a lawful and binding contract of tenure with that tenant and therefore a legitimate interest in the tenants personal details, any landlord who does not have his tenants details are at risk of prosecution if the letting agent fails to carry out the landlords legal requirements. An agent has no legal responsibility for a tenant’s welfare nor can a landlords delegate his lawful duties to an agent, the responsibility of any tenants welfare lies entirely at the feet of the landlord.

The article continues with  “ We then refer them to the referencing company so they can get the information from the tenant directly. In time, we may have the tenant sign a similar declaration for us to allow us to discuss the application with the landlord but for the time being we won’t. I appreciate that many landlords may get frustrated by this but the DPA is there for a very good reason”.     “In time”  they say so why not share the information with the landlord straight away, a landlord has as much right (More in fact) to the tenant’s personal details to be able to agree the contract of tenure as the letting agent or the referencing company does.  Protocols on fairness and disclosure say that the letting agent should bring to the attention of the tenant (for on-going clarity by making them sign a declaration) that they allow the agent to share their personal information with the landlord for the purpose of a contract of tenure.

The ICO and data protection guide lines are about fairness and common sense and it is quite absurd to think that the personal data of a person is protected from the very person that, that data is going to be used to join together two parties in a contract of tenure ie “The landlord and the Tenant”. The ICO guide lines are to protect personal data from passing to a third party for the purpose of misuse (your agent sells of your data to a car salesman)  it is not to protect the tenant from the landlord who are the two very people who are contracting together for a contract of tenure in the first place.

The article goes on to say.  “Like many letting agents, we ask for the previous landlord and previous managing agent, if there is one so that they can be contacted by the referencing company. If we are ever asked for the previous landlord details by our landlord, we would almost certainly refuse unless the previous landlord has given us their written approval for their details to be disclosed to the new landlord".   This rings alarm bells right across the industry for landlords who use letting agents as the point here is that, if the applicant tenant does not tell you there is a previous landlord or letting agent and the agent does not bother to check on landlordreferencing.co.uk (Which 1000’s don’t) the landlord has to rely on the letting agent and possibly their non-disclosure, and this can easily end up with a landlord taking someone else’s bad tenant who may have just walked out from their last property with debt and damage earlier that day.

A landlord has the right to ask a tenant for the contact details of a previous landlord for the purpose of referencing and a tenant who has had a contract of tenure with a previous landlord can give those details as long as those details are limited to information for contact purposes and not of a personal nature, not excessive and relevant to the same type of contract.

I have read stories on this forum every day about bad agents not doing their job properly and not joining in with lifestyle referencing and then end up giving their landlords bad tenants. It is very simple, if your agent is not doing everything in their power to carry out every reference possible they are not doing the job properly for you, and agents who do not give you your tenant’s details so you can make sure all is ok, are putting you at risk of prosecution if anything goes wrong.

In the final paragraphs of their post they inform their agents that.  “Many landlords are now choosing to do their own referencing. So if you are a landlord, what can you as a landlord do to help your letting agent comply with their obligations under the DPA? Ask them (your letting agent) if they have a written agreement from the tenant to disclose their information to you the landlord”.

This information paragraph seems to be in total contradiction to the opening paragraph of the statement where they clearly say.  “As it currently stands we tell the landlord that whilst we are in possession of that data, we are not at liberty to pass that information to them”.   However this statement above clearly states.  “ Ask them (the letting agent) if they have a written agreement from the tenant to disclose their information to you the landlord”.  This implies exactly what this web site has been advising us all along, as a landlord you can have your tenant’s details from the letting agent if they have agreed disclosure and you can have the information as you have a legitimate interest in them for the purpose of a future legal contract of tenure.

As I am not a letting agent I am not a member of the site that published this article, it was sent to me by an agent friend as a “I told you so” But if I were, I would be asking questions about their advice as it is clearly going to put landlords at risk and I say to all legitimate letting agents, “Don’t treat your client like mushrooms by feeding them S##t and keeping them in the dark" work with them as a partner for better relations and tell them who their tenants are “It will make you a better agent and them a better landlord”.

I find it sad that people who write these articles write them on the basis of having been in the industry for many years and that, that makes them qualified to give us advice. I am sorry to say the advice on this article for landlords & letting agents is totally miss-interpreted as to what the ICO is trying to achieve when protecting a tenants data from unscrupulous people and being miss-used by a third party. The advice in this article just lets a bad letting agents who wish to manipulate their clients by not giving them the tenants data hide behind data protection.

Just working in an industry for many years, reading content out of a book or taking it off a web page does not make a person an authority on a subject. What is written in a text book is usually a summary to the entire story and in the wrong hands can be misconstrued and dangerous.

My watch and wrist have worked together for 60 years but my wrist still can’t tell the time. 

20/08/2012
5:57 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Stonehouse,

Bad advise? it may just be that the agent as you say is not seeing the data protection criteria from the landlord & tenants point of view.  I think that most agents would say that they cannot pass the details onto a third party and they would be right but the landlord does not constitute a third party. The landlord is the party the agent is effectively the third party with no contractual tie with the tenant.

As you have obviously read the articles on the site and you definitely know your stuff, I am glad to see you post here about this thank you as many new letting agents may get confused.

I think we can ask the audience the question that you have raised.

If a landlord can be imprisoned for negligence whilst in a contract of tenure for not doing what is required by law' would it be logical, reasonable, fair and lawful that the landlord was not allowed the personal details by law of the very person they were contractually liable for. Smile.  

20/08/2012
6:12 pm
Ben Reeve Lewis
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Have a look at this article as a counterbalance http://www.landlordlawblog.co......ir-agents/

20/08/2012
6:26 pm
Paul Routledge
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I think the Paragraph wherby the question is raised "What then of the agents normal argument that passing the reference on will be in breach of the Data Protection Act? Well this is quite interesting. If you visit the Information Commissioners Office web-site, you will find on this page, links to various guides to good practice. And in the guide in disclosing information about tenants it says:

Can landlords see references which were provided to the letting agents?

The agent can pass this information to the landlord, as long as, when the reference is asked for, they make clear to the tenant and the referee that this will happen.

I think this proves Mr Stonehouses case beyond reasonable doubt.

Follow me on twitter @Paul_Rout

20/08/2012
6:29 pm
tweetelite
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Interesting article Ben, thank you for sharing it.

 

Excerpt from Bens link:

'So my view is that, notwithstanding the Data Commissioners guidance (which is simply guidance, not legislation) the landlord is entitled to see the references (subject to the agents lien) as:

  • They are his property
  • He has a right to know about the tenant who is being installed in his property (in view of his potential losses if the tenant is unsatisfactory), and
  • He has a right to check that the agent is carrying out his job properly

However to avoid any problems, I would advise landlords to make it very clear, when they instruct an agent, that they will want to see the references, before the tenant is approved.'

 

The above advice appears to make the most sense.

20/08/2012
6:47 pm
stonehouse
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Very interesting people now maybe we can address the other problem. How can a site which is designed to assist letting agents not post the correct information about these issues.

It is a uphill struggle for letting agents to be seen as the good guys as they must know what they are doing for their landlords and it must be the best service available.

A website that is a information centre to help the industry and gives out incorrect information is so damaging.

20/08/2012
6:57 pm
tweetelite
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It seems that the difference of opinion isnt down to mendacity on the agent's part, but 2 pieces of law rubbing up against each other. On the one hand the Agent's laudible desire to not breach the Data Protection Act alongside the agent's Fiduciary duty of care to their landlord.

 

This isnt the only area where this kind of thing creates problems. Take the case law of Minter  v. Mole Valley District Council.

 

Mole Valley placed a dodgy tenant with a landlord knowing of their past escapades but not telling the landlord, citing DPA but the landlord succesfully sued Mole Valley for not telling them they had set them up with a lemon. The courts deciding that Mole Valley had misrepresented the tenant they put forward.

 

Many councils seek to go down the road of a partnership approach with local landlords but face this dilemma. You know you have the tenant from hell but how do you tell the landlord? Knowing all the time that this is a hell of a breach of trust, when you are trying to get landlords to trust you.

 

Decisions, decisions

20/08/2012
6:59 pm
Ben Reeve Lewis
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Above post was me by the way

20/08/2012
7:09 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi all,

Quite simply if the letting agent is transparent and honest and the landlord can work with them to get the best tenants through referencing together it reduces dramatically the need to take a bad one.

My friend Vennesa from property tribes always says in the closing speech at her seminars "the best way not to get a bad tenant is not to take one in the first place ". How true is that and the best way for a landlord not to take a bad tenant is to know who their tenant is in the first place.

My opinion and practise is to reference them through a credit referencing company like our sponsor (Rentshield Direct)  and lifestyle referencing free through us even if their agent references them as well.

Follow me on twitter @Paul_Rout

20/08/2012
7:16 pm
Mary Latham
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This article published on LRS on 12th July 12 here http://www.landlordreferencing.....eferences/  show that there can be legal consequences for landlords who do not deal with referencing properly

 

A landlord from Leeds has been ordered to pay £3,462 after accepting false references from his tenants.

Colin Harrison, of Gipton in East Leeds, was fined at Leeds Magistrates Court after admitting to six offences against the selective licensing rules; £1,000 with costs of £2,447, including a victim surcharge of £15.

The issue of false references came about after Harrison’s property received umpteen complaints from neighbours, regarding anti-social behaviour, which happened to be in an area covered by a selective licensing scheme.

Then, following the West Yorkshire Police attending Harrison’s rented property on no less than 17 occasions (since November 2008), Leeds City Council requested that Harrison provide references for one of his tenants who had recently moved into the area.

Suspicions were then raised when one of the referees denied writing the reference.

 

In my opinion any Agent who tries to hide behind legislation to withhold information from the landlord WHO IS PAYING HIM is attempting to "control" the landlord and is overstepping his remit. An Agent is an agent thus he is "working on behalf of a client".  Just as I respect my tenants because they are my customers I expect Agents to repect the landlords who are their customer and to do everything in their power to protect their landlord. 

 

Its bad enough when local authorities use Data Protection to withhold information from landlords we don't need Letting Agents to do the same.

 

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

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20/08/2012
9:11 pm
Nearly Legal
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Paul Routledge said
 

[...]

If a landlord can be imprisoned for negligence whilst in a contract of tenure for not doing what is required by law' would it be logical, reasonable, fair and lawful that the landlord was not allowed the personal details by law of the very person they were contractually liable for. Smile.  

Paul, I would be very surprised if a landlord was imprisoned for negligence. For imprisonment, you are looking at a criminal offence and a significant one. Negligence, apart from 'gross or criminal negligence', is a civil matter - a claim in tort, for damages. A criminal offence requires more - breach of a statutory duty where the statute makes it a criminal offence (gas safety inspections), or criminal negligence (more than just recklessness or carelessness):

In explaining to juries the test which they should apply to determine whether the negligence, in the particular case, amounted or did not amount to a crime, judges have used many epithets, such as ‘culpable’, ‘criminal’, ‘gross’, ‘wicked’, ‘clear’, ‘complete’. But, whatever epithet be used and whether an epithet be used or not, in order to establish criminal liability the facts must be such that, in the opinion of the jury, the negligence of the accused went beyond a mere matter of compensation between subjects and showed such disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime against the State and conduct deserving punishment. R v Bateman (1925) 28 Cox's Crim Cas 33

 

Or, of course, manslaughter. 

 

If you have examples of imprisonment for 'mere' negligence - not criminal breach of statutory requirements, or criminal negligence/manslaughter, I'd be interested to see them.

 

(I should be clear this results from a conversation with Paul on twitter. And yes, I am a lawyer, but I'm off duty)

21/08/2012
6:47 am
PaulBarrett
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Before you instruct a LA ascertain that if they are to carry out referencing and a tenant then wishes to take your property, then all details of the tenant reference are to be passed onto the LL.

If the LA refuses to promise this, don't do business with them.

Also state to the LA that if they refuse to supply this info advise you will not do business with them.

Simples!!

21/08/2012
9:35 am
HertsAgent
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Hi Guys,

 

I have read this thread with great interest, I have been an agent for over 15yrs and I have to be honest I would not pass over to a landlord my applicants referencing results without first getting the applicants' permission.

This does not mean I am a poor agent.

The landlord has 'employed' me to rent out their property and to ensure it is rented to a good tenant, part of my job to ensure this is to fully reference applicants.

Referencing is not a legal requirement and there are still many private landlords out there that do not even both with this process, I also know of a number of agents who, in the interest of making money, carry out the employer and previous landlord part of the referencing themselves, in fairness, how do they know that the people they are contracting are not just 'mates' of the applicant going through the motions.

The information provided on a full reference form is delicate information and can include personal details such as bank details and nation Insurance numbers, with everyone so hot on stopping fraud, and the cynic in me would wonder what would stop a landlord using all this info from an applicant’s form to commit fraud, I’m not saying it would but it’s possible.

My opinion is, the tenants pay the cost of the referencing there for that paperwork is theirs, and it is up to us as professional agents to use that knowledge to offer our landlords professional advice in regards to a failed or passed reference.

Yes, I agree that the tenancy is between the Landlord & the Tenant, but the letting process has 2 obligations, the letting agent’s obligation to their applicant and the letting agent’s obligation to their landlord.

The referencing company that we use to carry out full referencing, would not pass the results of an applicant’s results to a landlord if the reference had been instructed by the letting agent.

The landlord employs us to do a job, how we then chose to do that job is largely down to professionalism, morals and integrity, protecting an applicants information until concent to disclose I feel is part of that job.

21/08/2012
9:48 am
Paul Routledge
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Hi Nearly legal,

Thank you for you comments and taking the time out to post. I will reply to you as follows, you have pointed out that I have said "If a landlord can be imprisoned for negligence whilst in a contract of tenure for not doing what is required by law" and then you ask me "If you have examples of imprisonment for 'mere' negligence – not criminal breach of statutory requirements, or criminal negligence/manslaughter, I'd be interested to see them".

I think you have taken the word negligence a bit too literally "I clearly state "negligence whilst in a contract of tenure for not doing what is required by law",  and that means that if a landlord show negligence in his duties he can be prosecuted by the law, as you say gross negligence in fixing a boiler by a landlord would result in a criminal prosecution and possibly prison if the man dies etc:

I understand you a solicitor and therefore you must also understand that the message must be clear to landlords who are negligent in their lawful duties, that they can and may face criminal proceeding which can carry a jail sentence.

The negligence to which I refer brings about the criminal proceeding and is not the charge of criminal negligence, as you say the charge would be "'gross or criminal negligence', which could result in a charge of manslaughter and this would be brought about because the landlord  did not fix the boiler and the tenant died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The landlord may also argue that it was the agents contractual responsibility to fix the boiler, but in law it is the lawful requirement of the landlord to ensure it was done. I wonder what would happen in a test case where a landlord failed to check the boiler and relied solely on the agent. Would the landlord be responsible for civil negligence for not checking his agent had done it or criminal negligent for not doing his statutory duties resulting in the tenants death

I don’t think any landlord wishes to be the test case however what we are trying to make sure landlords understand is that the burden of responsibility for a tenant lies with the landlord and not the tenant.

Here are a couple of links where landlords have been sent to prison for not doing their statutory duties.

Rogue landlord jailed

Sheffield landlords prosecuted for gas safety failings.

Milton Keynes landlord jailed over fire deaths breach of fire regulations.

21/08/2012
10:40 am
Paul Routledge
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Hi Herts Agent,

I don’t think anyone suggests that an agent does not get an applicant/new tenants agreement that the landlord has their details, the argument is at what point should they give the details to the landlord or should they even give them at all. As you know LandlordReferencing.co.uk  are adamant that the landlord should be entitled to the data at the application stage and not when a letting agent has given them a contract of tenure which the landlord cannot check.

The point about fraud is one that really does not come into play, to suggest a landlord (Your client) should not have his new tenants details because they may use them to commit fraud is a bit too out in space for me.   

You say “professional agents to use that knowledge to offer our landlords professional advice in regards to a failed or passed reference”.   Unfortunately there are too many bad agents out there for a landlord to take the risk. This very thread is about miss-information from a letting agent support site and landlords are losing trust. I believe it is time to work as a partner with your landlords for a better more unified future together. The days of the cheque is in the post are long gone.

Letting agents join our site every day and very many don’t upload bad tenants and certainly don’t search our system, landlords are taking bad tenants who are on our tenants alerts because their agents do not bother to check. That is very, very, bad for landlords in this market.. Thanks for saving me from a bad tenant as agent takes him on

Quite frankly there is absolutely no reason and landlord and letting agent cannot share the responsibility together of getting a tenant they both agree on.

 

Follow me on twitter @ Paul_Rout

21/08/2012
11:26 am
HertsAgent
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HI Paul, thank you for your reply,

As an agent i have only been asked a handful of times by the landlord if he can see the tenants referencing report, on all occassions I have asked the tenant if this is ok, and on all but 1 my tenants have agreed, on the 1 occassion I explained to the landlord that the tenant had refused his request, he asked to see a blank ref form and was satified with the questions that would have been asked of the tenant.

You state  “The point about fraud is one that really does not come into play, to suggest a landlord (Your client) should not have his new tenants details because they may use them to commit fraud is a bit too out in space for me”          and this is your opinion which you are more than entitled to, however I feel this statement is a little blinkered, why do you feel a landlord would not do this, yet you don’t find it hard to believe that an agent can act improperly.

You Say “Unfortunately there are too many bad agents out there for a landlord to take the risk

Paul I would agree that, as in any industry there are bad agents out there, but also remember there are 1000s of GOOD agents out there doing their job properly and professionally and I have to say I feel your comments are very anti-agent, If a landlord is concerned about the type of service he will receive from an agent, then my question would be, why would he continue to use that agent to Let his property, surely a good agent wouldn’t set off these alarm bells in the first place.

You say “Quite frankly there is absolutely no reason and landlord and letting agent cannot share the responsibility together of getting a tenant they both agree on

I again agree with you, however, showing a landlord a reference form is not, I feel the way to create this perfect partnership, if a tenant is fully referenced and passes, I fail to see how allowing the landlord to see the proof of this will invoke a good tenancy.

99% of letting agents and previous landlord would give an exiting tenant a good reference if they have been a cr*p tenant just to ensure they move out and become someone else’s problem,

I still stand by my comment that I do not see why a landlord should feel they are automatically entitled to see an applicant’s personal details, the landlord does not pay for this service the tenant does.

 

Lastly, you mention that many letting agents join your site everyday, but that there is also a vast number who dotn, and equally a vast number who 'don't bother' to check prospective tenants past history, if i am totally honest, visiting a website such as yours to check a previous tenants back history would not be something I would have the time to do, the reason i use an external referencing company is so I can free up mine and my staffs time to get on with the job in hand, letting and managing properties. I am not in anyway dismissing your site, in fact i think it is a great tool, however may i suggest that the referencing companies that us agents us are the ones you should be targeting to check tenants histories, that after all is what we pay good money to these companies to do, why would i pay a referencing company if i am only going to check the applicant myself?

21/08/2012
12:02 pm
Cedric
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Les's be totally upfront and I'll admit that I manage my own properties myself,  so maybe I am not sufficiently qualified to have comment on this.

But just say I did hand over management to a Letting Agent (and in my area of London there are several) what gives them the right to withhold information from me which may have a bearing on my ultimate financial wellbeing ???

There surely has to be some kind of leeway and common sense here.  We cannot protect the tenant and Letting Agent to the detriment of a Landlord surely ???

21/08/2012
12:43 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Herts,

You say :

As an agent i have only been asked a handful of times by the landlord if he can see the tenants referencing report, on all occassions I have asked the tenant if this is ok, and on all but 1 my tenants have agreed, on the 1 occassion I explained to the landlord that the tenant had refused his request, he asked to see a blank ref form and was satified with the questions that would have been asked of the tenant.

Letting agents are under increasing pressure to work with their landlords as legislation is changing, so why would you not give them the details of their tenant as a natural course of application and if a tenant does not want the landlord to know who they are I would refuse them a tenancy “Period”

Regarding the point on fraud you say “and this is your opinion which you are more than entitled to, however I feel this statement is a little blinkered, why do you feel a landlord would not do this, yet you don’t find it hard to believe that an agent can act improperly.

Do letting agents check their clients or their clients credentials. I simply do not believe the norm is that a landlord would go to an agent to rent out their property and then once the tenant is in clone their new tenants details for purposes of fraud.

 

You Say “Unfortunately there are too many bad agents out there for a landlord to take the risk

Paul I would agree that, as in any industry there are bad agents out there, but also remember there are 1000s of GOOD agents out there doing their job properly and professionally and I have to say I feel your comments are very anti-agent, If a landlord is concerned about the type of service he will receive from an agent, then my question would be, why would he continue to use that agent to Let his property, surely a good agent wouldn’t set off these alarm bells in the first place.

You say “Quite frankly there is absolutely no reason and landlord and letting agent cannot share the responsibility together of getting a tenant they both agree on

I can assure you I am not anti-agent, I truly believe that small landlords need good knowledgeable agents. What I am is anti-transparent-agent. I do not see why an agent cannot work with his landlord in partnership together to get a good agreement. Why does the agent need to be in control whilst the landlord is kept in the dark? and if the agents are not referencing properly who is protecting the landlord from this lot. Tenant alerts 2012 running total 

I again agree with you, however, showing a landlord a reference form is not, I feel the way to create this perfect partnership, if a tenant is fully referenced and passes, I fail to see how allowing the landlord to see the proof of this will invoke a good tenancy.

Because as you said in your previous post “I also know of a number of agents who, in the interest of making money, carry out the employer and previous landlord part of the referencing themselves, in fairness, how do they know that the people they are contracting are not just 'mates' of the applicant going through the motions”. And that is the problem for the landlord because when the agent makes a mess the landlord has to clear it up.

99% of letting agents and previous landlord would give an exiting tenant a good reference if they have been a cr*p tenant just to ensure they move out and become someone else’s problem.

That that is exactly why our tenant alert system works so well for landlords because over a period the cracks start to show for habitual bad tenants. We stop 100's of tenant getting into property every year because they eventually come up on the system. But as the saying goes if you ain't in it you cant win it"

I still stand by my comment that I do not see why a landlord should feel they are automatically entitled to see an applicant’s personal details, the landlord does not pay for this service the tenant does.

Because they are,  and they are because they are the landlords tenants and responsibility in law and not the agents.

Lastly, you mention that many letting agents join your site everyday, but that there is also a vast number who dotn, and equally a vast number who 'don't bother' to check prospective tenants past history, if i am totally honest, visiting a website such as yours to check a previous tenants back history would not be something I would have the time to do, the reason i use an external referencing company is so I can free up mine and my staffs time to get on with the job in hand, letting and managing properties. I am not in anyway dismissing your site, in fact i think it is a great tool, however may i suggest that the referencing companies that us agents us are the ones you should be targeting to check tenants histories, that after all is what we pay good money to these companies to do, why would i pay a referencing company if i am only going to check the applicant myself?

Trust me,  if you want to do the job properly you certainly need to make time to reference your landlords potential tenant properly "That is the most important part of your job" . Referencing companies don't pick up bad tenants on our system and bad tenants know it and that is why they source weak agents that don't lifestyle reference.

1000's of habitual bad tenants who have no ccj's slip through the referencing noose every year and as landlordReferencing.co.uk grows we pick up more and more of them on our systems. So that is why Letting agents that do not lifestyle reference are giving their landlords mine and 1000’s of other member landlords who never took them to court our ex bad tenants every day.

Our comments herein give me even more reason to believe that landlords should have their tenants details at application stage, because if a letting agent as you say "does use an external referencing company is so I can free up mine and my staffs time to get on with the job in hand, letting and managing properties" and you therefore do not have time to lifestyle reference you need to offer the landlord the applicant tenants details so that they can check them free with us.

I am as sure as eggs is eggs, the landlord will make time to reference in every way possible so he does not take my last shitty tenant.

21/08/2012
12:55 pm
HertsAgent
Guest
Guests

Hi Paul,

I really must pick up on this point first...

Do letting agents check their clients or their clients credentials. I simply do not believe the norm is that a landlord would go to an agent to rent out their property and then once the tenant is in clone, the landlord would use their new tenants details for purposes of fraud

Do letting agents check their landlords credentials???? i know for a fact that out of the 23 letting agents in my town, only 4(us included) actually asked a LL for proof of ownership of the property and ID. all the other agents happliy took on the property rented it out with no question of whether the person who had instructed them was indeed legally allowed to do so....so yes! although not the norm.. again Paul you seem to be finding words I had not written, I would also have the thought in the back of my mind that the possibility of fraud by a landlord is in fact possible

Landlords are not angels by any stretch of the imagination.

 

You still refer strongly to poor agents... this in fairness i feel is where your bugbare lies, and not with us good agents who DO reference tenants who DO give our landlords and our tenants a good service... please be very mindful that tenants are as much our customers as our landlords are.

On reading your comments I can only see that this whole thread has been carefully 

Orchestrated to promote your own websites services, which i feel is a shame.

Your comment "if a tenant does not want the landlord to know who they are I would refuse them a tenancy “Period"  alarms me greatly...surely this is blatent discrimination,  if my tenants didnt want the landlord to see their person data then why should they be denied the right to rent the property? I as an agent know their criteria ticks all the boxes, that after all is why the landlord employed the agent in the 1st place.

we are not talking about witholding information and i am still trying the locate in my replies where you have read this?? most of my landlord are overseas or are UK based investor landlords, if they had the time or inclination to source and reference their own tenants then they wouldnt be on an agents books to start with.

 

Paul you really must realise that landlords will always use letting agents

I can assure you my landlords trust me and my services and my referencing process has never been called into question...

 

Your service is a recent addition to an ever growing and evolving industry, i'm sure if intigrated with full refereincing services it would only enchance what a referencing company can offer, but until then, it is not a time viable option for me personally.

21/08/2012
1:39 pm
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3415
Member Since:
20/05/2011
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Hi Herts,

I find it strange that you think I am orchestrating what is being said to promote my website, I hate to point out the obvious but this thread is on my website and the discussion is about what we do!. 

I think we have come to the end of the road with this conversation, when you ask why a tenant cannot be allowed to rent a property owned by a landlord, because the tenant does not want the landlord to know who he is. As a landlord of 135 tenants it is beyond illogical to me and dangerous for me if an agent not doing their job properly.

I have never questioned your service, I don't know your service, I question why you do not free lifestyle reference to add another layer of protection to you landlords, and you have made it clear that you do not need to as you out source your referencing and nor do you have the time. It is up to your clients whether they are happy with that, not I.

I think we can agree' that you do not need to use our services because you are happy with what you have and in the same vein,  I would not use a letting agent who did not use every tool to protect me. 

What I will say though, is that if you believe as you say "Your service is a recent addition to an ever growing and evolving industry" why you would wait until it was "integrated with full referencing services as it would only enchance what a referencing company can offer" maybe that's why landlords are becoming more weary because as the markets are growing and evolving the agents are taking to long to grow with it?. Thus putting them at an unnecessary risk 

A great debate thank youSmile

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