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Renting Scam 2 – Be Streetwise

In any field of life the way to protect yourself is to be “Streetwise“. What does this mean – & in particular what does it mean when renting? The answer is surprisingly simple – it means knowing what is normal, & what is abnormal. If things are not proceeding in a normal way your alarm should be ringing.

Now you shouldn’t be ashamed of not knowing what is normal when renting a property, whilst I enter into dozens of rental agreements every year, the average citizen is unlikely to have rented before and probably won’t have that many tenancies in their lifetime. To help you understand what to expect I will outline the steps that a tenant renting from Pimlico Flats will typically go through. Although a number of things will be different with different organisations, or when dealing with an agent, hopefully the principles will be constant.

The tenant will read about a vacancy of ours on this Blog, on our Website, if we eMail a recent enquirer with a new vacancy, on a free Advertising Website (e.g. eBay Classifieds), or through an Agency that charges the tenant. The advertisement will show Plans & Photographs of the flat. We will list the vacancy on our Blog as soon as we hear of it (up to a month in advance), and if it isn’t to be filled from our waiting list we will list it on our Website. We will advertise the flat about 1 week before the vacancy arises. The reason for this is that few tenants search a long time in advance, most tenants are looking to move in within the week & consequently we waste our advertising placing it a long way in advance. The disadvantage of this is that the viewing, references, & credit checks tend to be done in a rush.

The tenant will enquire either by telephone or eMail. eMails which say “here is my phone number, phone me” are ignored – if the prospect can’t be bothered to enquire properly, they probably aren’t serious about renting. We don’t respond to “Wanted” adverts – life is too short. We don’t let through Agents however much they promise to get a higher rent than we can achieve renting directly.

We will discuss the flat answering all the prospect’s questions, hopefully leading to an appointment to view the flat. The viewing may be conducted by the current tenant, or by ourselves. If a prospect wishes to proceed we ask for a holding deposit of 10 days rent in cash or by Paypal. Flats are never reserved unless a holding deposit has been paid. We give a receipt for this and if you proceed with the tenancy it is credited to your 1st Month Rent. If you do not proceed  the deposit covers our costs in re-marketing the property. We ask for references, it is acceptable for these to come from friends & family but we prefer for the reference to come from your employer. We telephone the referee to discuss the reference.

On receipt of cleared funds for the 1st 2 months rent you will be invited to our office to sign the tenancy agreement that has been prepared for you (if you prefer you can pay cash at the signing, & you will be given a receipt for cash payments). You will be given a copy of the agreement that we have both signed.

You will be given the keys to your flat on the morning that you move in.

That is how a normal tenancy is entered into, & if yours is going differently please be on your guard. We will be publishing further articles with some examples of the types of scams that you may come across, & the sorts of trggers which will scream “Scam!” to you once you know what to look for.

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VACANCIES

To View please phone Phil on 07788 370528

July 2015

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1 Bed Studio Flat £1100 pcm

2 Bed Flat £1800 pcm

Short stays £150/Night
The Landlords own
1 Bed (Double) Flat

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