Q. My agent has just contacted me with an offer on my rental flat but its from a company not an individual and they are making all sorts of demands like an option to renew for three years as well as not paying a deposit but instead providing a letter of guarantee, and I cannot be in control of rent increases either, they are a really large reputable corporate company but all the same I am feeling a little apprehensive about all these demands, do you think I’m wise to get involved with this type of tenancy?
A. Company Lets such as this although at the onset seem full of demands can often be an extremely beneficial way of renting. Company Lets usually occur when a large company requires an individual to relocate for their work, they offer them within their package an all expenses paid home and they also offer complete protection ensuring that the property meets extremely high standards and that all the fixtures and fittings are tested and safe to use. They will usually request added extras that perhaps your usual tenant wouldn’t such as changing locks and adding extra fire safety protection such as extinguishers. In most cases they will also want to use their own rental contract too, to be honest it can all seem a little daunting and, in some ways, a little biased towards their tenant. The option to renew clause can be tricky as in a nutshell it means you are tired in for three years if the tenant wishes to continue, so do be sure that you are not likely to have a change in circumstances and need to sell the flat as you will not be able to. The lack of deposit replaced by a letter of guarantee can seem a bit flacky on the surface but actually as long as they are a large reputable company they are generally extremely professional and very keen to resolve any issue swiftly and efficiently at the end of the tenancy despite you feeling a little out of control because you don’t hold a pot of money for any damages. Overall it can be a little fraught at the beginning of the tenancy as the company’s representative can be quite demanding but once they are moved in they are generally great tenants and things do tend to run extremely smoothly, with certainly no issues surrounding rent payments. Remember their tenant in occupation not only has a liability to you as the landlord but also their company as their employer too. If you have considered all the terms carefully and they fit in with your life plans then you cant really go wrong with this type of tenancy.