Tenancy referencing - discrimination ?

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    Tenancy referencing - discrimination ?

    My 27 year old son, who has been employed by his employers for the past 5 years is transferring branch and needs to find a new flat.

    The letting agent said to him that the landlord wants an incoming tenant to provide employment, and tenancy references, that his income must be 2.5 times his rental payments providing these were proven, the file would go to the landlord for approval.

    It transpires that the agent uses a referencing company to deal with all of this and they are being very awkward.

    They want his new branch to produce a new contract of employment for him (even though its not normal company policy), they want them to confirm also in writing that they are definitely letting him transfer in.

    His income more than met the 2.5 times requirement and was proven to them by payslips, p45 etc.

    They then said (which was not said before) that he needed to provide a guarantor, but that person needs to be earning 3 times the rental payment - my ex-wife agreed to this. They then said it needed to be for the entire length of the tenancy not just the initial 6 months AST

    She agreed to this - then they turned round and rejected her, because it was her husbands pension and own rental income which came into the household BUT it was in his name not hers.

    Today a week plus down the line they have come back to him and said his own income is not acceptable as they claim it does not meet the 2.5 times requirement.

    What they are doing is going by the fact that on his employers standard contracts they only issue up to a maximum of 30 hours guaranteed, many are on zero hour contracts. My son on average as can be proven for the past few years works on average 45 to 55 hours a week as proven to them.

    To me the obstacles they keep raising seem unfair from what was advised at the outset and makes me wonder if its a case they dont want a single male in the property - this of course would be discrimination.

    He looked at numerous flats but this was really the only one that met his requirements and was in an area which was affordable and quiet, not on a main high street which has vandalism issues and other problems.

    My question is - what can he do - could it be discrimination - if so does he have any recourse anywhere

    He suffers with major anxiety issues and its only a matter of weeks now left before he has to vacate his existing flat and move to the new location so he is getting extremely stressed.

    #2
    It's not discrimination to refuse someone for financial reasons.
    Personally 2.5 times income would be too low for me even if the hours were guaranteed. And I don't take on tenants who need a guarantor.

    Comment


      #3
      2.5 times is entirely dependent on the part of the country you reside in surely. My point is the Letting Agent said 2.5 times and that was proven - so that cannot be a reason to keep moving the goalposts surely. Its interesting to find this referencing company on a well known review site, where as just one example cited, somebody allegedly earning 40k, with 650k in the bank was turned down for a £1600 rental on financial reasons. That individual obviously works and lives in an affluent area of the country. Where my son works average wages are considerably lower than the national cited average, so a referencing company based in London nearly 300 miles away needs to take this into consideration surely.

      Comment


        #4
        The referencing stuff you write about is all standard stuff. Why not ask the employer to step in and sort some of this out or the branch manager. I have had this happen before quite successfully.



        Freedom at the point of zero............

        Comment


          #5
          A senior manager at my sons employers (a large national company) have spoken with the Referencing company in person and answered all the questions put to them. And effectively they refuse to accept what they have been told - even though the referencing company telephoned the employer to get the reference themselves.

          Comment


            #6
            If he's got copies of his P60 going back a few years, that might help.

            It's not discrimination, it's a checklist for approval, and some ticks are missing.
            It's increasingly a problem where people don't have traditional employment contracts or months and months of bank statements/ tax records.
            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
              Originally posted by BlueMystery View Post
              A senior manager at my sons employers (a large national company) have spoken with the Referencing company in person and answered all the questions put to them. And effectively they refuse to accept what they have been told - even though the referencing company telephoned the employer to get the reference themselves.
              I meant the company/branch manager stand as guarantor any muppet can answer the questions but that does not give any security to the landlord.



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                This is all standard practice. Yes it is difficult for people like your son. But you are blaming the wrong people -- blame the politicians who have made it extremely dangerous to take a chance on people.

                That's not to say I don't feel for him. I do. But it is not "discrimination" (except by the government against normal people).

                Comment


                  #9
                  As Andrew said, it isn't the agency or the referencing company who are being difficult, it certainly isn't discrimination.

                  What it is is an example of the kind of ridiculousness many agents and landlords predicted would happen when the new tenancy laws started to come in. Shelter were so very determined to 'protect' the rights of tenants that they have induced the government to bring in laws that make it nigh on inmpossible for landlrods and agents to make any 'good faith' decisions about individuals.

                  And they haven't finished yet...maybe have a chat with yiur MP... get them to raise a question... though given the timing, maybe that won't work for at least a few months!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well if I write what he has just told me today you will understand fully the frustration because of dealing with a digitalised referencing company who considers everyone to be liars


                    1. They phoned my son at work and said we cannot accept the 2 payslips or copy contract you sent us as they bear no resemblance

                    2. He pointed out they were payslips for the last 2 tax years ie a year apart showing what his annual income was - their response was "thats no good"

                    3. He said his branch manager was stood with him would they speak with him "no we cannot do that we will phone them"

                    4. The branch manager subsequently spoke with them and said his 30 hour minimum contract was just that a minimum - in reality it represents less than 80 percent of the hours he works each week - their response was "no we do not accept that".


                    Summary
                    required 2.5 times income - he has proven this
                    required a reference from current landlords - this was accepted
                    required credit check - this was accepted
                    required copy employment contract - supplied but not accepted
                    required guarantor who has income of greater than 3 times the rent - supplied this - still not good enough

                    What does somebody have to do when you meet all the criteria, yet some obscure referencing company based hundreds of miles away refuses to accept what has been given to them

                    They have wasted 2 weeks of his notice period from his present flat - in two weeks he will be homeless.

                    When he took on his current flat 10 months ago he had none of this hassle with a different referencing company so its hard to justify blaming politicians

                    If I were being cynical I would say this particular company has a vested interest in rejecting applicants, as the more they reject for a property the more money they will charge to someone for checking them out

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I suggest you offer 6 months rent up front for a 6 month tenancy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by BlueMystery View Post
                        They have wasted 2 weeks of his notice period from his present flat - in two weeks he will be homeless.
                        To be fair, he has wasted some of it by not simply looking for someone else when it became obvious this was going to be more difficult than he thought.

                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by BlueMystery View Post

                          When he took on his current flat 10 months ago he had none of this hassle with a different referencing company so its hard to justify blaming politicians
                          During the last 10 months landlords have had to pay the first stage tax bill of turnover rather than profit, had the next stage of S24 kick in, paid for the next stage in advance, had the tenant fee ban come in (paying for the bad tenants), gas safety check proof of prior serving farce, 3 different How to Rent guides (2 unannounced), Selective licensing, HMO licensing changes, EPC F rating plus kicking in, UC kicking in further and a raft of other attacks I've forgot about.

                          All this has an effect.

                          All generated by politicians.

                          And paid for by tenants.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by boletus View Post
                            ...

                            All this has an effect.

                            All generated by politicians.

                            And paid for by tenants.
                            Quite. Couldn't have put it better.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              your question was about discrimination and there is none here.

                              Your suggestion that the agency is purposefully rejecting him doesn't really sit right as a business plan. It's simply not in the landlord's interest to employ a referencing firm that continually bounces qualifying applicants because it costs the landlord money. It's also not in the landlord's interest to take a risk on tenants that somehow don't match specific criteria they may insist on.

                              At the end of the day, the referencing company is working for the landlord and the landlord sets the criteria. The referencing company aren't telling the landlord what to do. They are just passing info back to the landlord. Any decent landlord will look at the results from the referencing before making a decision on a tenant. Not all tenants meet all the criteria and many landlords will flex the criteria for a tenant if they can afford to. In this case, the landlord is being picky and they have every right to be.

                              I would stop fighting this battle and quickly move on to find alternative accommodation. Life's too short. There are lots of places out there and many landlords would take him on.

                              Comment

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