Pre-Tenancy: Tenant Referencing
Tenant referencing is the way of finding out information on prospective tenants. This information will guide the landlord or his/her agent decisions on whether a property can be rented to the said applicants. All applicants should be referenced from the age of 17 and should provide both photographic ID and proof of address.
Welcome to Connect UK’s ‘Landlord Academy’ – here to answer all your property questions.
Let’s look at the different types of referencing before entering any applicant into a tenancy agreement.
Right to rent checks
This check is simply to confirm that an applicant is entitled to rent property in the UK. This check can be done via the GOV website free of charge. Once completed we can move on to the next stage of referencing. If an applicant fails a right to rent check, the home office must be informed.
By confirming an applicant’s credit history, we have the ability to see previous addresses, if they appear on the electoral role and if they have bad credit. Bad credit will show in the form of any County Court Judgements (also known as CCJ’s), bankruptcy or insolvency. Taking all this into consideration the applicant will be given a score on their overall financial behaviour. Credit checks and full tenant references are chargeable and can be done online.
This is one of the key checks when vetting any applicant and can be done in two ways. By asking for bank statements, we can see proof of funds coming in before any outgoings are made. This will help us establish if the applicant can afford the property in question.
This must be done at an early stage as the applicant’s employment status and official pay can be confirmed.
This fourth step involves contacting the applicant’s previous landlord or agent and request information on their conduct, i.e.; did they pay rent on time, was the property treated well, did they have any arrears? etc, etc.
Tenant referencing is an essential part of the letting process, giving you, the Landlord, the reassurance that your new tenants are who they say they are, work where they say they work and are able to make rental payments.