Tenant referencing guide

Your property is probably one of the most expensive things you own, so you don’t want just anyone moving in.

Referencing is the best way to protect yourself against bad tenants, ensuring that they are who they say they are, giving an insight into their ability to pay the agreed rent and their history of paying rent in the past.

First and foremost, ensuring that the tenant is who they say they are is very important. A tenant giving false details is obviously indicative of potential bad intentions. It is also important to establish identity in order to ensure that the contract is enforceable.

A good reference should include both employer and landlord references (although these may not be available if you are renting to a social housing tenant, or if the tenant has not previously rented).

The reference should include details of any bankruptcies and County Court Judgements (known as CCJ’s – a formal court decision that money is owed) and previous credit history, which will indicate whether they have failed to pay bills in the past.

Your reference check should include a confirmation of their employment status and current salary, which in turn enables you to identify whether they are able to afford the monthly rent.

Our comprehensive referencing service covers all of these important areas. As with both high street and other online agents, we ask the prospective tenant to contribute to the cost of their reference checks, so there is no additional cost to you. Our tenant reference report provides a clear indication of whether or not your potential tenant has met our criteria, allowing you to let your property with confidence.

If your tenant fails the credit check, it can be prudent to consider the circumstances for the failed reference. For example, if they have a CCJ against them they will fail the credit check. If the CCJ was for a small amount, happened a long time ago, or is now fully repaid, and the tenant is easily able to cover the cost of their rent with their income and has a good landlord reference, perhaps it is worth considering allowing them as a tenant, but with a guarantor.

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