How do I get around tenancy references?

Q.  I recently took six months out from work to do some travelling and I have just arrived back in London and need to find a place to rent and find a job of course. I have found a place I really want to rent but because I have no job the reference agency has failed my application because of no earnings. They have said that I need to get a guarantor but given the guarantor needs to be UK based and all my family reside overseas I literally have no idea what I should do. I have plenty of money in the bank to see me through at least the next twelve months though so surely they should take this into consideration as I can definitely afford the rent.

A.  Your situation is more common than you think as many individuals decide to step out of the rat race for a while and either opt for unpaid sabbaticals or like you leave their place of work altogether to go off and explore the world or do something that makes them happy. It would have been preferable though if you had declared this when you first made your offer for the rental apartment as it’s pretty obvious that without any kind of regular income you would not pass the references, and an alternative solution should have been offered at that point. The fact that you have revealed that you have sufficient funds in the bank to cover the rent for the next twelve months means that there shouldn’t be a problem in getting the reference company to re-conclude their report with the new information to give you a ‘pass’ which your landlord would require to move forward with the tenancy. The best way around this is to offer to pay six months’ rent in advance, if you do this it takes all the risk away for the Landlord as he does not need to worry whether or not you can afford to pay your rent each month. You will need to provide proof of funds to do this so either a letter from your bank or a recent bank statement should be sufficent. Going forward once you have managed to secure another job do let the Landlord know by sending them a copy of your employment contract or similar then he should be happy for you to revert to monthly payments from month seven. If you do not prove income, then obviously you will be required to pay a further six months in advance if you wish to continue the tenancy.

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