Agent warns firms to check out ‘blue-chip employers’ wanting company lets for senior staff

An agent has warned that property firms in his area are being approached by applicants claiming to represent blue-chip employers and looking for long-term company lets.

In fact, they are recruitment firms recruiting their own temps to work for the likes of warehouse operators.

James Peake, of Milton Keynes agency Morgans Property, said that in all cases, the recruiters are new companies.

He cited two instances where landlord customers of other agents have had their properties trashed, lost months of rent, and had an uphill battle to regain possession.

He said: “We first became aware of this situation in January when we started getting approaches, which have been building up since.

“In a ten-day period in July, we had six different enquiries.

“All asked about company lets on flats for an initial 12 months, and requesting viewings for their representatives.”

He said: “It sounds good, especially to a young member of staff on commission.

“The reality is that all six of these enquiries were from recruitment agents.

“Although names likes Mercedes, Network Rail, Nissan and MK Hospital Doctors – all big local employers – were used in the chats, the actual occupiers were going to be warehouse staff on temporary contracts.”

He said that in another case the recruitment firm claimed to be looking for accommodation for doctors relocating to Milton Keynes.

“However, I discovered they were actually recruiting for temporary porters and cleaners.”

He said that because the lets would involve temps, there would be many changes of tenants, leading to a probable increase in general wear and tear.

He also said there was some evidence that the recruitment firms would take on a complete property under one contract, but then sub-let each room individually to make a profit on the deal.

He said: “We have just taken on two properties for landlords who have had their flats wrecked.

“The so-called companies paid three months rent, yet stayed for six and nine months respectively.

“Both landlords used corporate agents and had very similar stories of zero inspections and no legal chase assistance.

“Both landlords felt that the members of staff involved seemed very out of their depth with the situation.”

He added: “This is not bashing corporate agents, but they do turn over staff more frequently than their independent counterparts.”

There are also warnings about rent to rent here:


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  1. Jonathan.Welford

    I had a conversation with a similar firm looking for their ‘corporate client’  looking at four and five bed houses. It became clear, after a few questions (which they were reluctant to answer) it’d be multiple people living in it.  I explained that that wasn’t possible and the parking would be an issue, they said they’d be willing to tarmac the front garden to accommodate more cars! Bonkers!

    1. RealEstateRecruiter

      There is only one creature lower down the food chain than an Estate Agent and that’s a Recuiter!

      1. Retiredandrelaxed

        And presumably below them both is a Recruiter for the Real Estate industry?


        Sorry – couldn’t resist that!

  2. Anthony Hesse

    Shocking behaviour, and just another example of one or two recruitment agencies giving the rest of us a bad name.

  3. Richard Tacagni

    It is worth adding that many company lets result in properties becoming HMOs with all the resultant fire safety, management and licensing requirements. Landlords and agents need to tread carefully and have regard to the proposed mode of occupation to ensure they remain compliant.

  4. GeorgeHammond78

    We get ’em all day, every day. Some nobbo in the other day, when challenged ,professed not to know what Rent to Rent was, yet we showed him his website where his picture appears and his script goes on about it!

    Jonathan Welford – sounds like the same lot you had?

  5. Vanessa Warwick

    There is a huge influx of people coming off Rent to Rent property courses being advised to be liberal with the truth about their intentions for the property.

    Most of them went on a R2R course because they did not have the financial means to get involved in buying property, yet they send out letters guaranteeing the rent and making all sorts of assurance and promises that I believe it is unlikely they will be able to uphold.

    I really cannot believe that any landlord or agent would consider letting to someone of no competence, no experience, no track record, and who probably will not pass affordability to be able to be essentially the “head tenant”, yet I recently saw on facebook that 2 18 year olds with no jobs claimed to have got hold of a property and were turning it into an HMO!

    Most of the people undertaking Rent to Rent have no understanding of the regulations and compliance issues associated with running HMOs, and, as soon as things go a bit pear shaped, they can just walk away and leave the landlord with a huge mess to clear up.

    We have landlords in distress through this on Property Tribes.

    Solicitor Giles Peaker was on twitter recently calling one of these R2R trainers out for what they were teaching people to do.  They are given a telephone script and letter template to lie that they are re-location agents.

    Unfortunately, I cannot insert screenshots or post links, because it is shocking that people are taught to be deceptive and are not taught how to be compliant or what the many pitfalls are.

    Some of these training courses cost many thousands of pounds and these people take out extra debt to pay for them!

    I know Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action is also very concerned about this issue of Rent to Rent and many of us feel that it needs regulating as a matter of urgency.

  6. Ian Narbeth

    “… yet they send out letters guaranteeing the rent and making all sorts of assurance and promises that I believe it is unlikely they will be able to uphold.” I agree Vanessa. I constantly get letters from impressive sounding entities offering to manage my (profitable) HMOs and guarantee me an easy life. A 30 second check on Companies House website always reveals a recently formed business with zero assets (no accounts have been filed).
    Landlords need to learn that they need to check with whom they are contracting. A £100 company cannot give any meaningful guarantee and if anything goes wrong its creditors (the property owner) will be left to whistle for their money. I do know reputable people who are R2R landlords. However, as a property owner, unless you are offered a personal guarantee from a person of substance, don’t touch the deal with a ten foot pole.

    1. Vanessa Warwick

      The Rent to Rent students are told there are “tired” landlords out there waiting to off-load their properties.

      Interestingly, I have heard that Rent to Renters using SpareRoom to source landlords ie. solicit properties by contacting landlords via the platform , have had their accounts suspended by Spare Room.

      They have also been taught to download the list of HMO landlords from the local authority and write to them.  All the letters have a very similar text as they all use the same template provided by the Rent to Rent trainers, so they are easy to spot!

      One of their tactics is to ask for the first two weeks rent free to give them time to find sub-tenants.

      There are of course people doing this professionally and compliantly with financial resources to honour the rent if they do not fill all the rooms, but I fear they are in the minority.


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