Here is a question to the blog clinic from Jon who is a landlord
We have an apartment with an agent. The apartment has been let and the agent has informed us that the tenant wants to pay 1 years rent in advance. Who keeps this money, is it the agent or the landlord?
The money will be paid as rent and so it will be your money not the agents although no doubt they will want to deduct their commission.
Sometimes agents will hang on to money paid in advance and will pay it over to the landlord on a month by month basis. However, there is no law that says they have got to do this. How they deal with money paid to them as rent will depend on what is set out in your agency agreement, so I suggest you read this.
If your agency agreement does not mention retaining money paid in advance then you can ask the agents to pay it all over to you now. It is after all your money, not theirs.
You may want to find out a bit more about these tenants though. Offering to pay a years rent in advance is often done by criminals who want to avoid proper referencing. Frequently they will then convert the property to a cannabis farm.
This may sound unlikely but it is actually very common.
So ask the agents for more information about the tenants and what checks they have done. You should also ask them to be extra vigilant in carrying out regular inspections.