Landlord Gazumping?

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    Landlord Gazumping?

    Hello. I've finally found an apartment through Openrent and contacted the landlord to discuss further and arrange a viewing. During the conversation, she said that there is another applicant for the property who is offering to pay a monthly rental amount that is about £30 more than the listed price, and asked whether I would be willing to match this.

    I have serious alarm bells ringing in me but dont know whether this is justified? I fully appreciate that a landlord has every right to charge whatever they want. While I could match the figure and probably would have viewed the apartment if it was advertised at the higher price claimed, I can't help thinking that I'm being played. The apartment is absolutely perfect for me, but this has given me cold feet.

    This is my first time renting, so I'd be really appreciative if someone could advise on this. Am I being played or is this normal? Thanks.

    #2
    There is no way anyone on here is going to be able to give you a definitive answer. We don’t know the person involved, we don’t know the market and we don’t know the property.

    It’s a free market and the landlord can do as he/she wishes. If you love the apartment and there are limited other options and you can afford the increased asking price then don’t worry about things you can’t control.

    Comment


      #3
      You could try the approach of saying "oh, didn't realise the price was flexible, my offer therefore goes down by £5/month". If he argues say - "oh, then £10/month off".

      There may or may not be another interested party...
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Hants, thanks for responding.

        I'm fully appreciative of free markets, and the property advertised at the higher price would have been acceptable to me. While I can afford it, it's the way it has been done and has got me thinking.

        Why would a prospective tenant offer to pay more than the advertised price? If I see a flat for £500 a month, I would proceed on that basis - I wouldn't say "tell you what, I'll pay you £30 more" out of the blue. Nor would I expect a landlord to say that she is going to give it to another applicant unless I offer a higher amount and put two applicants against each other in some kind of bidding contest?

        Since I started looking, I've made about 20 initial enquiries on various properties and not once has anyone said anything like this.

        Just to clarify on this, in my situation the landlord said that she is dealing with another applicant who is applying to take the property but can't find some paperwork and so may have to decline their application. In the meantime, I'm to view the property with a view to apply if this other applicant is declined. It is this applicant who apparently has offered the higher amount. I can understand offering months rent up front, but not more than the requested monthly rent. It can't be to make up for the missing paperwork, as the LL has already said she'd decline if it can't be found.

        It just seems a bit underhand to me and I wondered if any LLs/LAs have come across a situation like this or if they think this kind of bidding process is acceptable? The property is still advertised btw at the initial asking price.

        Comment


          #5
          It's entirely legal, if perhaps not wholly WWJD & underhand. Capitalism: Has flaws.... Applied for council/housing assoc properties?
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Several tenants view a place and one of them wants it and offers more per month to try and keep it.

            It's hard to know what to do with the other prospective tenants.
            Tell them in case they want to match the offer or don't tell them, and possibly waste their time.

            As the tenant offering the increased rent may fail referencing, you don't want to turn alternatives away.

            If available property is scarce, it's more likely to happen, I'd guess.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Good point and something to think on.

              Thanks all, especially artfullyodger for that wonderful response on flexible pricing!

              Maybe it's just my natural and professional cynical nature. I'll see the property and ask some pertinent questions when there. Hopefully it's just me being a cynic!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Arkey75 View Post
                Why would a prospective tenant offer to pay more than the advertised price?
                That's the killer question.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Could this be a shill bid by the landlord themselves? (See recent thread about auctions.)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Arkey75 View Post
                    Why would a prospective tenant offer to pay more than the advertised price?

                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                    That's the killer question.
                    Sellers market?

                    I often get prospective tenants offering more when I (genuinely) tell them I have other applicants /viewings.
                    I never accept though as I'm looking for the best tenant for me, not the highest bidder.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I had a prospective tenant offering £100 less than the advertised rent - I had too much interest to consider it. Some people like to barter.

                      If the other tenant was really keen on the property and knew there were other interested parties maybe he/she decided it was worth the extra money to secure the property and thought it was fair for the market they were in.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thread Title is misleading, IMO there is no evidence of LL gazumping but a legal reason for a prospective T to offer a higher rent.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't see any benefit to the LL in this scenario. They can charge what they want, they don't need to con you into paying more.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The landlord probably had more interest than she bargained for and realised after placing the ad that she could have asked for more. It may seem misleading to advertise something at one price then be told they are seeking a higher price when you phone up. But this landlord's priority is getting the best price. However the best price may not necessarily be from the best tenant...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Supply vs demand.

                              When I sold my old iPhone I put it on Facebook marketplace and Gumtree and displayed an asking price of £250.

                              Within about 24 hours I had half a dozen people who had messaged me asking for “my best price”. So they each received a response which read “£300”.

                              Many of them came back whinging and questioning why it was higher than the advertised price, but one understood that the demand was high and we eventually agreed on a price somewhere in the middle.

                              An advertised price is an invitation to treat (or negotiate). It doesn’t obliged the seller to accept any offer at that price.

                              The only way to know what cards the landlord holds is to call his bluff.

                              Comment

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