HELP! Bahrain 18yr coming to England wants to rent my flat!

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    HELP! Bahrain 18yr coming to England wants to rent my flat!

    Hi guys!

    I hope all you members are keeping well, busy and solvent....

    A quickie (I hope) that I need assistance with.

    I have advertised a flat to let on the internet and have had an enquiry from an 18yr guy from Bahrain. He wants to rent the flat and is prepared to pay six months rent and deposit (totalling £3010) in advance. I'm not sure of the method of payment as yet.

    He is due to arrive in the UK on 16th August (just two days time) but knows that the flat will not be available until the 20th August.

    Any advice for me....

    To let or not to let? That is the question!

    Thanks in advance for any advice you knowledgeable members can offer me.

    Kind Regards

    J

    #2
    Be very, very careful. You might get security of payment for six months (assuming he pays with cash and not a rubbery cheque), but it might cost you six months rent to get him out if he pays nothing further after that.

    You are not going to be able to "check him out" as he's coming from a foreign country - so unless he's got a job lined up here..............?

    For me, I would be saying a very big "NO"

    Comment


      #3
      Can he not produce any references at all? What about Bahraini Embassy, his existing employer (if any), or his UK employer/associates? Or a UK-based guarantor?
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        I am a moderator on a community forum. Our members are plagued by scammers. Often these are cheque fraud scams by scammers posing as tenants, landlords, employers, etc.

        There are common scams from those claiming to reside abroad - a cheque is forwarded, the bank processes it and in the meantime (before the bank discovers there's no funds behind it and it's a fake cheque), the applicant has provided an excuse to have their 'accidental' overpayment forwarded back by Western Union.

        It's a simple but ingenious scam - Fake funds go in to the victims account, real funds go back to the scammer who cannot be traced.

        So make sure you acquaint yourself with rental scams relating to advance payments made by 'tenants' based overseas.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud

        Comment


          #5
          Depends on the situation, is he a student with rich parents paying rent? coming to take up employment?
          You should be able to get confirmation/reference from either the institute he is going too or from his employer.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the advice everyone. Much appreciated.

            I am obviously nervous about this situation for obvious reasons but in the same breath i do not wish to deprive a home to someone who is coming to England for good reason.

            I think the idea of getting references might be a good one. I wouldn't be daft enough to accept a cheque and release keys prior to the cheque clearing so I don't worry too much about that issue.

            As for accepting 6mth advance payment and running the risk of no further payment all I can say to that is I've just had a tenant attempt to vacate (without notice) four months into the 6mth ast and without paying July's or August's rent. The tenancy isn't due to expire til the end of September so I see 6mth advance payment as a better risk for some reason.

            I will continue with my discussion with the individual and see where that takes us. I will keep you posted on the off chance any members are interested in the outcome.

            Kind Regards as always

            J

            Comment


              #7
              Re cheque: demand cleared funds (eg CHAPS) or BACS (+ time to clear) AND evidence that money is clean.
              Do not accept cash under any circumstances, nor foreign curency instruments (except Travellers' Cheques).
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for that advice Jeffrey. Though under the circumstances I would be a little reluctant to give out bank details which would surely prevent the above methods of payment. Mind you, I do have a bank account with no funds in it which I suppose I could use....

                Re the suggestion of money being clean... how would I ensure that to be the case? I would suspect 'laundered' money to be very clean... PMSL

                I guess the travellers cheque would be my safest option - am I correct with that assumption?

                I have now e-mailed the potential applicant stating that I will require a reference from an official from his country and also the name, address and telephone number of a contact in the UK. I will have to wait and see how that goes down now. I am just very conscious that the guy is keen to sort things asap as he is due in the country on Thursday...

                J

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                  Thanks for that advice Jeffrey. Though under the circumstances I would be a little reluctant to give out bank details which would surely prevent the above methods of payment. Mind you, I do have a bank account with no funds in it which I suppose I could use....

                  Re the suggestion of money being clean... how would I ensure that to be the case? I would suspect 'laundered' money to be very clean... PMSL

                  I guess the travellers cheque would be my safest option - am I correct with that assumption?

                  I have now e-mailed the potential applicant stating that I will require a reference from an official from his country and also the name, address and telephone number of a contact in the UK. I will have to wait and see how that goes down now. I am just very conscious that the guy is keen to sort things asap as he is due in the country on Thursday...

                  J
                  1. Yes- if you give him your bank details, select an emptyish account. You'd need to give details anyway if he were paying by S/O.
                  2. T/Cheques are safest.
                  3. Do not be rushed by him- that's how baddies con goodies.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    1. Yes- if you give him your bank details, select an emptyish account.
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    You'd need to give details anyway if he were paying by S/O.
                    2. T/Cheques are safest.
                    3. Do not be rushed by him- that's how baddies con goodies.
                    Re the above in red Jeffrey - I have several emptish accounts now due to cr*p tenants. I would laugh if it wasn't for the fact it's not funny! LOL

                    The latest tenant to take the p*ss was even credit checked - thankfully I now have rental insurance! However, we know how slow those cogs move...

                    To be honest I am very tempted to chance my arm with a non UK resident. Can't be any worse....

                    J

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                      [Can't be any worse
                      J
                      Oh yes it can- try Nigerian fraudsters, for example!
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would like to think I have read enough on this (and other sites) to be wary enough of such scams Jeffrey.

                        I also wouldn't rush into anything without first getting advice from knowledgeable members such as yourself.

                        J

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Dear Joann,

                          I am not being personal here but I do get the feeling that you may fall for this SCAM cos that is what it is. Leave emotions out of it and be realistic, you don't owe no one nothing, if this person does not take up your tennancy, they can always get another flat from another person. Remember, when the cheque which is what they will send you is paid in, it will be cleared by the bank in the first place before it is then called back from your account a few weeks later by the bank by then you WOULD have fowarded REALL money to this person who will be long gone.
                          You really need to heed to what every one here has said and be very CAREFULL. ADAVNCE FEE FRAUD is really rife in the letting industry.

                          Good Luck

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for the advice Sharemaster. I've just been reading up on these scams on a site from the useful link that Beeber provided (thanks Beeber).

                            I am sure with all the advice I have received here today I will not fall foul of such an attempt. I will certainly keep you all posted.

                            J

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just to give a "good outcome "......I let to an overseas couple with a small child who turned up in the country, with 1 nights accommodation booked and naively thought they could look at property and move in the same day.
                              Ended up with a call at 7pm on a Sat saying they had nowhere to go that night as hotel was full could they move in! I know it sounds mad and it did worry me very badly but I let them!! Happy ending they were brilliant tenants.
                              Im not completely stupid and had found them via a site internal to work, I knew why they were coming and where both were going to work/study. There was still a huge amount of instinct involved on meeting them and I didn't sleep easy until money for the deposit and 1st months rent had cleared.
                              However they were not offering a huge amount of money up front which does make it look dodgy but that may just be a culture type thing.
                              Is there anyway you could ask for the money to be paid in smaller installments and get an employer to act as guarantor? Surely that would make it unattractive to any "scammers".

                              Comment

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