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An Australian comedian and TikToker had a savvy way to check the credentials of a prospective landlord before signing a lease for a new apartment - but it ended up getting his application denied.

Usually, prospective tenants are required to provide references to give a landlord an idea who will be living in their property and their character.

But Tom Cashman (@tom.cashman) wanted to make this a two-way thing and so sensibly asked the estate agent if they could get the landlord to provide references from their previous tenants. This makes sense because of course everybody wants a nice and reasonable landlord (but that's not always the case).

However, things didn't quite go to plan as Tom didn't receive a response from them after a few days so sent a follow-up email making the request once more.

Everyone start asking for Landlord References #renting #landlords #sydney #australia #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #fy


@tom.cashman

Everyone start asking for Landlord References #renting #landlords #sydney #australia #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #fy


Everyone start asking for Landlord References #renting #landlords #sydney #australia #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #fy

Although he got a response the second time around, the estate agent didn't understand his question and asked him to "clarify."

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So Tom explained his reasons behind the request, as a screenshot of the email showed, he wrote: "I found this is an effective way to find out if an owner is good to their tenants," and noted how it seems "appropriate" given how he has provided the landlord references.

It was bad news for Tom as the estate agent called Stephanie replied saying that the landlord "will not provide a reference as they are not in contact with the previous tenant."

Though in his response, Tom expressed how he was more than happy to reach out to the previous tenant himself if the landlord could provide him with the contact details.

"I assume the owner or the real estate [agent] would have their previous tenants' email addresses," he replied.

Then questioned: "So just to confirm, the owner doesn't have any previous tenants they could get in touch with to write a positive reference for them?"

Not budging, Stephanie informed Tom that the landlord "does not wish to contact the previous owner and it is not a requirement."

She added at the end: "All the best with your property search."

Uh-oh...

Reply to @focusforte Landlord Reference request update #renting #sydney #rentalproperty #realestateagent #fy #fyp #foryou


@tom.cashman

Reply to @focusforte Landlord Reference request update #renting #sydney #rentalproperty #realestateagent #fy #fyp #foryou


Reply to @focusforte Landlord Reference request update #renting #sydney #rentalproperty #realestateagent #fy #fyp #foryou

"Then in that same minute, literally in the same minute as that last email was sent by Stephanie, I received this notification that my application to rent the apartment had been withdrawn," Tom explained.

In the video, he provided a screenshot of the email which read: "We have received advice from you indicating that your application has been withdrawn. This message is to confirm that we have actioned your request."

"I didn't request to be withdrawn," the TikToker said and so emailed Stephanie to find out what was going on.

He noted how his request was not a requirement, asked if this is why his application was withdrawn and added: "I'm sorry if you thought it was an unreasonable request."

Stephanie replied with just one line: "The owner prefers a long term lease period."

"Which interestingly enough was not an issue when I originally applied and got approved," Tom quipped.

"In conclusion, I think asking for a landlord reference is a good idea and if we all start doing it could become more normalised, however, if they can't find anyone to give them a good reference I would advise against rubbing their nose in it like I did," he added.

Both of Tom's videos have received 2.3m and 2.4m views respectively, with 748,000 likes overall, as well as thousands of comments from people sharing their own landlord nightmare experiences, and advice on this matter.

One person wrote: "My landlord hung a dead pigeon on a stake in my front yard. I definitely would like any future tenants to know that."

"God if I'd have been able to get a landlord reference for my current place, there's no way I'd have moved in," another person said.

Someone else replied: "Suggestion: leave a review about this experience with the agency/wherever else you can. Hold them accountable so people looking at these apartments know."

"I am a landlord - I would happily give out references. I think some sort of score sheet would be great to make it fair across the board..." a fourth person replied.

Sound like Tom dodge a bullet there, let's hope he finds a place with a landlord who is willing to provide a reference.

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