We were appalled to learn that one of our corporate clients was informed that his offer for a rental property would only be accepted; subject to contract, satisfactory references and subject to him attending a meeting with the letting agent’s financial advisor.
It is normal practice that references need to be taken and the detail of a tenancy contract agreed prior to an offer being able to commence their tenancy agreement. However, it is totally unscrupulous business practice to make an offer dependent upon someone attending a pressurised ‘hard sell’ meeting no doubt conducted by a highly trained hardnosed financial advisor.
The letting company stated the following in order for the application to proceed:
“In order for us to start the process we require you to attend a meeting with our Financial Consultant in our office in relation to Income Protection Insurance. It’s a free service and he will discuss with you the financial risk of renting a property and also advise you on ways to protect your rent if you find yourself unable to work. This is an important part of the process and the meeting will take approximately 60 minutes. Please confirm your availability for this appointment.”
The letting company also advised that the property will remain on the market until all of the above and the administration and referencing fee has been received in cleared funds. The agents say they are obliged to inform the landlord of any other interest or offers received. Once all documentation and fees have been received, the property will be withdrawn from any further marketing whilst references are undertaken; further information can be found in the tenants guide to renting.
The sole purpose of this 60 minute meeting is so the tenant would be persuaded by a financial advisor into taking at least two different insurance policies namely, Critical Illness and Income protection insurance cover. So, if a prospective tenant does not agree to attend this meeting their offer will not be put forward to the landlord and they would potentially lose out on their chosen rental property.
And that’s not all; the meeting was scheduled to be in offices that are a 45 minute trip by public transport (90minutes round trip) to their head-offices at a time only convenient to the financial advisors diary.
This unscrupulous behaviour by a large multi-office, corporate letting agent who threatens, bullies and harasses tenants into complying with their business tactics and taking out insurance policies is unforgiving.
We at Premier Corporate Relocation Services wish to highlight this particular intolerable behaviour.
We question whether the landlords realise whether good honest tenants are being turned away and offers are not accepted due to this business procedure and practice?