Tenant Referencing Guide For Landlords


With so many landlords getting royally screwed over by rogue tenants, particularly in this tough economic climate, I’m still surprised by the amount of landlords that are so cavalier about their tenant referencing methods, or more worryingly, the complete lack of. It’s almost like they want to get screwed (not in the good way).

Needless to say, EVERY LANDLORD should be thoroughly referencing their prospective tenants. Yes, that means before creating a tenancy.

By following a screening process, which takes no time at all, landlords can almost immediately avoid disastrous tenants- the kind that notoriously and effortlessly drain profits, most commonly by falling into arrears. But apparently that’s not a good enough reason for many. I hope it’s a good enough reason for YOU though.

Avoid bad tenants by referencing!

Avoid bad tenants by referencing!

While finding tenants quickly is key to reducing void periods, it shouldn’t be a reason to compromise the ‘quality assurance’ process. We should ALL be trying to find “quality” tenants quickly, and that’s not possible without efficient tenant referencing.

Unfortunately, many landlords make the following two unforgivable mistakes:

  • Accept the first tenants that come along because they just want the rent to start rolling in.
  • Don’t bother referencing their applicants (for whatever reason).

AVOID. At all costs.

Those mistakes can easily end up costing a small fortune, and they often do, because they’re honey-traps for dangerous tenants. Needless to say, rushing to find less than adequate tenant’s is far more expensive than prolonging the void period for the purpose of finding good tenants. From my experience, it’s mostly new landlords that get tunnel vision and only focuses on “just finding a tenant ASAP”

I’m guilty, and that’s how I ended up with dogshit tenants in the past.

Admittedly, there’s no silver-bullet solution for finding reliable and genuinely good tenants. However, there are steps that can be taken to significantly increase you’re chances of bagging good’ens, and consequently avoiding the rotten samples…

Methods of Referencing Tenants

I’m sure many landlords have their own methods of referencing tenants that differ from mine, but below are a few of the precautions I take as part of my “tenant referencing” protocol.

1) Gut instinct

Always meet your prospective tenants, even if you’re using a letting agent.

I personally believe that one of the greatest tools to identity a rogue tenant is by relying on gut instinct. That’s why I’ve thrown it first in the list.

I’m sure a lot of landlords have shown prospective tenants around their property and thought, “Hmm I’m not sure I want these people living here”, I know I’ve thought that on many occasions. From my experience, if it looks like a chav, smells like a chav and walks like a chav, it’s probably a chav.

Unless I’m completely comfortable with my prospective tenants, I don’t bother wasting time on trying to convince myself they’ll result in being good tenants, even if a letting agent tries to convince me otherwise. I firmly believe that a landlord (with common sense) will be more effective at finding good tenants compared to the average letting agent, simply because no one will care about our investment as much as we do. We inherently rely on our gut instinct, while most letting agents have no emotional attachment, so they’ll purely rely on the numbers. There are arguments for both sides, but I can unequivocally say, through my own experience, that gut instinct provides a clearer picture than most other referencing methods.

If your prospective tenants make you feel uneasy, it’s probably for a good reason.

2) Ask for I.D

Before you even start the process of deciding whether someone is a potential tenant or not, make sure they’re actually who they say they are.

Due to a newly introduced landlord legislation, Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, Landlords in England are actually legal obligated to check their tenant’s proof of ID and citizenship to help control illegal immigration. Failing to comply could result in penalties to the tune of £3,000.

However, while the legislation DOESN’T currently apply to every landlord in the UK, you’d have to be crazy not do it, whether it’s required or not.

3) Use a Tenant Referencing / Credit Check Service

Most landlords will find tenants through a letting agent, whether it be an online or highstreet agent, and pretty much all of them will provide a referencing service which includes a credit-check, so most landlords don’t directly use a referencing service.

However, I have two trains of thoughts here:

  • Finding tenants via an agent isn’t the only solution; word-of-mouth, friend-of-a-friend, and using classified websites like Gumtree are a couple of alternative methods popular among landlords when looking for tenants. In those circumstances, landlords will need to find their own means of conducting thorough referencing.
  • Many agents charge a premium for using their referencing services, especially since the Tenant Fee Act 2019 was enforced on the 1st June 2019, because that stopped letting agents from being able to pass on the referencing costs to tenants (which many used to do!).

    What was the result? Agents redirected the cost onto landlords to recoup their losses, so the cost of referencing suddenly rocketed for landlords (when going through an agent).

    In many cases, particularly in the case of online letting agents, a “tenant referencing service” is an optional add-on, so you can decline their generous offer *cough* and directly use a referencing service. There are a buttload of options out there (many of which letting agents use themselves, so you ultimately get the same result), and using them directly is definitely much more cost-effective than going through an agent.

Referencing companies typically offer a variety of packages, ranging in different depths of interrogation, but they all generally provide a report which includes:

  • Identity Check– confirms whether or not your prospective tenant is who they say they are.
  • Financial Check– this will highlight any red flags in a tenant’s financial background (e.g. CCJs and other adverse data) that can provide crucial for determining a tenant’s ability to make rental payments.
  • Tenant Risk Score– this will provide you with a score on the level of risk of letting a property to the tenant/li>
  • Income Reference– this will verify the tenant’s employment and income status, by confirming job title, employment start date, length of employment and salary
  • Previous Landlord Reference– feedback from previous landlords, which will provide good indication of their reliability

When choosing a tenant referencing service and package, make sure you’re clear on what will be checked. Obviously, the more thorough the referencing, the better.

Important note: I wouldn’t rely solely on a 3rd party tenant referencing services (like many landlords do), but more so, a contributing factor to help determine the overall suitability of your prospective tenant. You should always do your own due diligence!

Tenant referencing services

In case you’re in the market for a couple of suggestions, I’ve listed a couple of referencing services I’ve used in the past and have been satisfied with,

Tenant Referencing Services
SupplierNotesPrice
Notes / Includes

Fast Credit Check

A fast credit check that will provide essential information about your tenants:

  • Results within one hour*
  • Credit check
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Residency & address confirmation
  • Electoral roll checks
  • Alias name search
  • Previous addresses linked

*subject to tenants response times

Price

£5
Inc VAT

Normal price: £9.99
More Info
50% Discount Code: PIPBASICTR18

Notes / Includes

Full Tenant Referencing

A comprehensive check giving you a detailed picture of your tenants’ suitability:

  • Choose who pays (tenant or landlord)
  • 2 working days (on average)
  • Credit check
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Residency & address confirmation
  • Electoral Roll check
  • Alias name search
  • Previous addresses linked
  • Employment verification
  • Income references (verbal confirmation)
  • ID verification
  • Previous landlord references
  • Affordability calculation
  • CCJ search
Price

£12.50
Inc VAT

Normal price: £24.99
More Info
50% Discount Code: PIPFULLTR18

Notes / Includes

Speedy Reference
  • 1 Working Day (on average)
  • Credit Check
  • Linked Address, Identity & Fraud Information
  • CCJs, Decrees, and other court information
  • Right to Rent Check and Advice
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Electoral Roll check
  • Alias name search
  • View sample report
Price

£20
Inc VAT
More Info
Notes / Includes

Comprehensive Reference
  • 3-5 Working Days (on average)
  • Rent Guarantee Insurance Eligible
  • Credit Check
  • Linked Address, Identity & Fraud Information
  • CCJs, Decrees, and other court information
  • Right to Rent Check and Advice
  • Affordability Rating
  • Previous Landlord Reference
  • Employers Reference
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Electoral Roll check
  • Alias name search
  • View sample report
Price

£20
Inc VAT
More Info

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from their website for the most up-to-date information.

4) Tenancy Application Form

I always make prospective tenants fill in a Tenancy Application Form before or during a viewing. It requires the tenant to provide the following:

  • Tenancy details: property address, rental period, number of applicants, proposed tenancy start date.
  • Tenant’s personal details: tenant’s name, contact details, and time at current address.
  • Current Landlord: details about current landlord.
  • Referee / Guarantor Details: details about guarantor
  • Employment details: current and past employment details, and details regarding salary
  • Details about occupiers: details about all the people that will occupy the property
  • Other details: details such as smoking status, pet status

The form is useful because it provides details of employment and previous/current landlords. That will allow me to follow up their references and make sure they’re legitimate and have a good track record. Additionally, if I have a vacant property which is receiving interest from several prospective tenants, I will have a neat list of all applicants with all their details. It makes it much easier to manage the applicants details, and determine which applicant is most desirable, which will effectively help me choose the better tenant. For example, I can easily see which applicant has a greater salary and stronger rental history.

You can download and/or find out more details about a Tenancy Application Form.

I can’t stress the follow enough: it’s important to actually follow up the references, particularly previous landlords and employers, and not just allow them to be names on a piece of paper. Tenant’s notoriously provide duff information knowing that many landlords don’t follow up references.

If you’re using a referencing service, they may verify the references on your behalf. Either way, between yourself and the hired help, ensure everyone gets contacted for proper verification.

5) Visit your prospective tenant’s current home

This is a bit of a hassle, but many landlords do it because it’s extremely effective.

Arrange a visit to the prospective tenant’s current residency, allowing you to assess their standard of living and how they take care of their home. Needless to say, they will most likely make an extra effort to clean the property before your arrival. However, some people generally don’t know the difference between clean and darn right filthy, so they’ll be restricted to their own standards. What they find clean, may not actually be clean. So this method is still a good indicator.

I’ll give you a specific example of when this happened to me (although the example is kind of backwards).

I recently had a tenant vacate, and while we were going through the final property inspection my O.C.D radar went ballistic as I was detecting congealed grime and grease left behind, roaming around in the kitchen. There was also a lot of dirt and cobwebs all over the place.

The funny thing was, during the inspection, my tenants were gloating about how thorough and regimented they are in regards to hygiene, and that’s why the property was left so clean. The husband said, I quote “Tracey (his wife) is so fussy, she’s an obsessive cleaner. You know what they’re (women) are like!”

Yeah, I don’t think so, son.

All I really discovered is that they have terribly low standards and have no actual idea what clean actually means. But that’s just how some people are.

Just to clarify, I don’t think it’s necessary to infiltrate the home of EVERY applicant, only the prospective tenants.

6) Tenant Guarantor

While requiring a Tenant Guarantor isn’t a direct means of referencing your prospective tenant, it should be a prerequisite of all applicants. If a prospective tenant can’t provide a guarantor, you may want to carefully consider whether or not they’re eligible to pass the screening process.

Personally, I don’t accept tenants that cannot provide suitable guarantors.

7) Assessing Affordability

Regardless of whether your tenant is in receivership of Housing Benefit or a salary from full-time employment it’s important to assess whether your prospective tenant can actually afford your property. Essentially, create a ‘risk profile’ for your prospective tenant.

Based on your tenants total monthly income (remember to check recent pay slips), assess whether or not you think they can realistically afford your property, including the running costs, and the cost of ‘living life’. Everyone’s got a live, right?

I’ve seen it happen many times before, where a tenant gets totally excited by the prospect of renting a house which they’ve fallen in love with, and not realising that they can’t realistically afford it. Some times as a landlord, you need to do the maths for the tenant and make a calculated decision. Tenants are often ruled by their heart, neglecting their head. I guess it’s the same when it comes to women and shoes.

If after crunching the numbers, it seems unlikely your tenant will be able to pay the rent for the long haul, it maybe something to seriously think about.

8) Job status, Income & payslips

It’s common practise for landlords to request the previous 3 payslips and bank statements to verify income (i.e. you can cross reference to ensure their wages go into their account), which will allow the landlord to assess the tenant’s risk profile. Obviously this ties in with obtaining references from the employer and assessing affordability, both of which has already been discussed.

Of course, it’s also important to determine whether your prospective tenant is in full-time employment, part-time, temporary contract, or on a zero hours contract. Don’t just rely on the previous 3 months income, clarify their employment status.

9) Facebook

Ahh the wonder that is Facebook; probably one of my favourite and potentially most entertaining methods of referencing tenants.

Basically, when someone applies to be my tenant I always look for their Facebook profile, by searching for their name and/or email address, and then narrowing down by location (usually required if I’m searching for a common name). 7 times out of 10 (I pulled those odds out of my arse, but they seem realistic enough), the applicant has a Facebook profile, giving me the opportunity to get a snapshot into their life. If lady luck is on my side, the profile will be somewhat public, allowing me to view the entire visual catalogue of the applicant’s life.

I’ve actually refused a tenant in the past based on what I saw on their Facebook profile. You can read about that delightful story here, The Results Of Referencing Prospective Tenants On Facebook.

Perhaps not the most orthodox or reliable of methods, but it can provide some insight, albeit marginal. That said, over the years this method has actually been very useful, and becoming increasingly effective. Most people seem to be leaving digital footprints behind, and most of those grubby prints are smeared across Facebook.

Seriously, look up your applicants on Facebook, what you see on their profile might cut through the staged shit they bought with them during the viewing.

Avoiding bad tenants

Besides from thorough tenant referencing, there are other tell-tale signs which can expose a potentially awful tenant, and those signs should NOT be ignored. Don’t just rely on the referencing methods above, I also recommend reading through the guide on how to avoid bad tenants!

Other points to consider

Landlords in England: You CANNOT pass on the costs of referencing/credit checks to tenants

On 1st June 2019 the “Tenant Fees Act 2019” came into force, which is a legislation that focuses on banning and restricting letting agents and private landlords (in England only) from charging tenants with certain fees, which includes referencing fees and credit check fees.

So if you’re a landlord in England, from the 1st of June 2019 you will not be able to charge your tenants for any form of referencing. If you do, the charge will be deemed unlawful, and you could face a hefty financial penalty.

Should you reference every applicant?

I wouldn’t recommend referencing every Tom, Dick & Harry that shows interest, not only will that be an expensive process, but it will also be a complete waste of time (in most cases).

You’ll probably have a pool of applicants, so I would short-list the most appealing down to about 2-3, and then analyse the data. If you only have one man/woman left standing, then the future should be clear. However, if you still have a few potential contenders, I would whittle the list down to 2, and then splash out on a credit check on them. May the best applicant win!

That’s just a generic blueprint, which may not work in ALL cases. But hopefully you get the general jist of my point, which is to whittle down the applicants and invest time and money on only the most appealing. Use your own common sense and due diligence when deciding which applicants warrant in-depth referencing!

Don’t stop looking for tenants until the deal is signed!

I urge you with all my might not to fall for this devastating trap.

Even if you think you’ve found the perfect tenant(s), do NOT burn all your bridges with all your other applicants or kill the process of finding tenants until contracts have been signed, and the first months’ rent and deposit has been paid.

Many landlords make the naive mistake of trusting the enthusiasm of applicants, and take their verbal commitment to the tenancy as bond. The reality is, consequences change, and many applicants show enthusiasm and interest so you reserve the property for them while they’re simultaneously looking at other prospects! You can bet your left nutsack on the fact that they’ll jump ship and break your flimsy bond in a heartbeat if they discover a more suitable proposition.

My point is, deals fall through all the f’ing time (for whatever reason), so until a tenancy is signed and sealed, take their word as no more than a pinch of salt. So keep on searching, keep on referencing.

You’ve been warned, friend!

Do you plan on getting RGI (Rent Guarantor Insurance)?

RGI has become extremely popular among landlords over the last few years, particularly because of the tough economic climate, which is causing spikes in rent arrears.

If you don’t know what it is, it’s essentially an insurance policy which covers landlords against loss of rent in the event of non-paying tenants. Very useful.

If you plan on getting RGI, one thing to be wary of is that RGI companies will have specific requirements before they will offer you coverage. For example, they may require you to run specific checks, or use specific referencing services.

Check with your preferred RGI company or insurance broker for any specific requirements before referencing any applicants.

For more information on RGI and recommended suppliers.

Conclusion

As said, doing all of the above doesn’t take long at all, and it’s well worth the minimal effort it requires. Moreover, you can do all of the above for FREE. There really are no excuses.

Out of curiosity, does anyone else have any other weird and wonderful methods of referencing? I’m always looking to develop the ways of how I can harass prospective tenants.









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30 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
AUS 10th November, 2011 @ 05:40

LinkedIn is another source of social networking that you can use to ascertain a little background information. Of course someone could totally create a fake account however if they are connected to other professionals it's unlikely they'd lie about their employment history etc.

I know that it is common practice overseas for prespective tenants to create a 'tenant profile' statement and accompany it with a ledger of their current/past rent payments. This is something I find a little OTT and frankly sort of no-one else's business however it does 'impress' if someone has taken the trouble to try and show their financial viability and background.

I still believe that nothing is foolproof, all a landlord can do is try and mitigate as much risk as possible.

1
Guest Avatar
NS1 10th November, 2011 @ 08:12

Aftering a viewing...googling the name/email username and seeing what comes up, also a google image search to see if you recognise them and what activities they may get up to.

I have used facebook before, actually to track down a ex-tenant who owed arrears.

One of my searches found the adult dating profile of a prospective tenant!

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Guest Avatar
Armin 10th November, 2011 @ 09:21

Local forums. There are some location-focused forums which have real estate sections, for example the Sheffield Forum. If you advertise your property on there, you should be able to also then get their username then can trawl through their previous posts.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 10th November, 2011 @ 11:39

Hi guys,

Ha, these suggestions are all getting borderline creepy, but I like it :)

@AUS
Agreed, nothing is foolproof. And the steps I mention do simply what you said, limit potential risk.

In regards to LinkedIn, it's no way near as popular as Facebook, that's why I never mentioned it. But still worth a shot.

@NS1
Yeah, Googling names/email addresses some times brings up results, I've also noticed that. But I still think Facebook is the most reliable right now.

@Armin
Never thought of using localised forums. But I like the concept of your suggestion. I've never looked into forums to try and find tenants- how popular are they exactly?

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Guest Avatar
Armin 10th November, 2011 @ 11:43

@The Landlord

The Sheffield forum is *extremely* popular, but I think it's mostly an aberration, i.e. an unusual exception. In theory other locales in the UK might have similar web communities, but I haven't really seen any. Which might be due to me only really bothering about the place where I live and the place where my BTL is.

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Guest Avatar
George / makeurmove 10th November, 2011 @ 13:47

Make sure the previous landlord is the real deal!

* Get a utility bill from their previous address.
* Do a land registory check to find previous landlord.
* Independently obtain landlords contact information

George
http://makeurmove.co.uk

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John Tsigarides 16th November, 2011 @ 13:54

Excellent post and spot on with my own opinions and experiences. Facebook has frequently made me question prospective tenants, whom on first impression seemed OK, but then after investigating Facebook, all photos were of them getting consistently smashed and their ‘post language’ was very Chavy with loads of F'ing this and that!

My personal favourite experience though was from a middle-aged couple who wanted to rent a house from me. He was apparently a private language tutor and she was a mobile hairdresser. They were very well spoken but something just didn't add up about them, so just out of chance I put both their given mobile numbers in Google.....It came up with links to private escort directories for him and her!!! Needless to say, they didn't get the house!

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Guest Avatar
David Booth 10th December, 2011 @ 14:18

If you dont want to be screwed over by your DSS (LHA) tennant not paying you we have the answer visit www.taskerpaymentservices.co.uk see what we do and you wont have the hassle of chasing your tenant for the rent!

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Guest Avatar
emma 16th January, 2012 @ 10:53

Does anyone have any experience of rent insurance ?

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Guest Avatar
Armin 16th January, 2012 @ 11:10

Emma,

I have been trying to get rental shortfall and legal insurance for a while now. The reason why I find it difficult is because the insurance will only cover me for those things if they consider the tenant to be very low-risk. The insurance company insists I use an accredited tenant referencing service (in my case FCC Paragon), but those referencing agencies will not give a reference unless the applicant is pretty much bullet-proof. I.e. substantial income, no bad debt, no CCJs, no bankruptcy within the last 5 years etc etc.

And each tenant/guarantor referenced costs £42. I have blown a decent chunk of money on such checks so far and I'm starting to think that it might not be worth while.

Hope that helps you.

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Guest Avatar
emma 16th January, 2012 @ 14:51

Thanks Armin, I though they sounded too good to be true. If I hear of a sucessful tried and tested service I will post it on here

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Guest Avatar
George 17th January, 2012 @ 09:44

Also worth remembering, it is probably a lot easier for tenants to find YOU.

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Guest Avatar
daryll 20th January, 2014 @ 00:23

hi guys im I tenant trying to find a bigger house in the medway area in 11 years ive never been chased for my rent ive always tried to work with the landlord fixing problems myself with there consent always improving things here and there and in the long run it only benefits the landlord(s), were currently having to jump through hoop after hoop to please referencing companies affording my rent isn't a problem but it getting someone to understand that not all tenants are bad, I willing for anyone to do checks for anything they I would happily give a prospective new landlord my facebook account details, bank statements, guarantor details, current landlord contact details, Experian credit report, but for those few genuine people its is shadowed by those who abuse house and the trust given when they rent a property which is making it harder for people like me and my wife with two girls and one on the way harder to be accepted by landlords looking for tenants that are acutally going to respect and take care their property rather than destroying it, I just wanted you guys to see it from my prospective, but I do agree with your previous comments as it would make it better for families like us to rent somewhere we can be happy

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emma 20th January, 2014 @ 10:28

I think if the lwas were changed regarding the eviction of bad tenants then more landlords would take more risk. I for one do not take any risk and if I get one sniff of something not right then I stop the application process and re-advertise. I'd rather an empty house than a problem tenant.
I would say though that the tenancy application is no different really to a mortgage application.
@ Daryll. If you tick all the right boxes I am sure you wont have any problems finding the right house. Good luck

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Guest Avatar
paddy 21st April, 2017 @ 11:14

landlord letting for second time bad experience first time with an agent going it alone this time. question: i have prospective tenant, I'M DOING ALL THE ADVISED CHECKS ETC i have told him that the maximum time to rent is 3 years after which we move back into the property can i establish this in a legal way so that there is no misunderstanding when that time comes.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st April, 2017 @ 11:25

@Paddy
There's nothing different you can or need to do, you will need to terminate the tenancy as normal.

The legal way (based on common and general circumstances) is just to give the tenant a minimum of 2 months notice before you want him/her to vacate- assuming the tenancy isn't in the fixed terms. So just ensure you don't renew the tenancy with fixed dates that exceed the date you need the property by.

I would just offer a 6 month tenancy and allow the tenancy to roll onto a periodic tenancy after that. Then you'll have a month-by-month contract, and you can just serve notice whenever (but with 2 months notice).

There's nothing else that needs to be done. Hypothetically speaking, even if there was something else you could do, the tenant could just remain in the property if he wanted to be stubborn about it... and you'll have to get the tenant evicted anyways.

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Guest Avatar
Malcolm 23rd June, 2017 @ 21:02

Hi. I'm currently letting out my old family home to a young lady who is threatening to leave with 4 months left of her agreement.
Problem is her guarantor is in Scotland and I've heard that it's near impossible to chase them north of the border?

Any help please?

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Guest Avatar
Emma 4th November, 2018 @ 04:30

" I guess it’s the same when it comes to women and shoes."

Can I politely suggest you revise?

Seemed like a good article but that's some archaic sexism you've got going on there.

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M&L 17th November, 2018 @ 03:40

Recently bought a new property and stumbled across your blog! It's really informative and very helpful expecially for novice landlords like myself.
As I'm currently trying to find tenants (quickly) for my property I've posted a few ads and generated a few prospects.
I will be sending them a tenancy application form and depending on their answers (or even if they come back to me!) I will shortlist a few to start with a viewing.
Now my question is, at what point in this process does landlords conduct the:
a) employment reference check?
b) credit check?
c) criminial check?
d) current landlord check?
e) ID check?

Is this normally after the viewing and a verbal let is agreed, but before signing the tenancy contract?
Or can you actually do all of this before? What's your advice? Welcome anyone else's advice too!
I travel very often so I have to plan my time very carefully.
Thanks all! :)

19
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th November, 2018 @ 09:47

Hi M&L,

Glad you have found the blog useful :)

Other landlords may do it in a different order, but I do it in the following:

I ask applicants to bring ID during the viewing, or ask them to send me a copy with the tenancy application form. Reason being is that you want to ensure 1) you're credit checking the right person and 2) they have a legal right to rent in England (assuming you're a England based landlord)! Otherwise it could be a waste of time and money running the extra checks.

Once identities have been confirmed, you can start narrowing down your list of prospective tenants based on their application form. With the remaining few, it doesn't really matter what order you do a - d, as long as they're done before agreeing to and signing a tenancy.

Best of luck!

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Jay 18th November, 2018 @ 11:25

Hello Landlord - I'm a big fan of your website. Its both informative and entertaining.

Posting to let you know the house shop code above does not give the basic check for free anymore. It still discounts to £5 which is not too bad....but not quite as good as free!

Cheers

21
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 18th November, 2018 @ 18:44

Hey Jay,

Many thanks, appreciate it :)

Strange, I'll get in touch with The House Shop and see what they say about that. They never actually informed me that the deal had expired. Thanks for the head's up!

Cheers!

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Paul 2nd January, 2019 @ 13:25

I have been a fan of this site for a while, so much useful info I am hoping someone here can help me.

I have had a tenant from hell and wondering if there are any sites that record details of such tenants.

I have been told that GDPR makes this impossible, is that true, I feel like some PAYBACK!

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Claire 24th May, 2019 @ 14:18

Is it just me or is getting an employers reference like blood out of a stone on Mars.
The HR team seem afraid of the phone and never take my call nor reply to my email. Look its not hard either the guy works there or he doesn't!
What Am I doing wrong?

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Melinda 14th June, 2019 @ 12:22

You say keep on with marketing and viewings until the agreement is signed but we are with Openrent who delist the property as let agreed the minute you take a holding deposit. We let with m first time and all was good and very easy. This time a tenant messed us around. The reference only checked the job she was in and did not discover what she'd told us at the viewing that she was moving to the area to start a new job the day the tenancy was due to start. She passed reference with a mid range range score but the report does she'd been in her current job and rental less than 6 months. Having passed the referencing checks, she took offence when we asked to see her new work contact and salary details and asked us to return the deposit or reduce the rent, so we returned the deposit and ditched her. We had been off the advertising portals for 2 weeks while this was going on and when we went live again we were several pages down in the listings and still looking for a decent tenant having had several viewings who have all messed us around. We've just reduced the rent but any comments and advice please?

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shazza 14th June, 2019 @ 13:59

I too am with Openrent and have used their comprehensive referencing this time. They were unable to confirm work references - which I did myself by ringing the companies direct and when I rang to advise the reference company, they seemed uninterested. I asked if I could see the credit report of the applicants but they said not until the rest of the referencing has been done. Surely if I am paying for the referencing to be done then the available information should be given to me as soon as they have it. Any landlord needs information to base their decision upon and if the credit reports are available this could help save time in finding new tenants. Now I fear I will be waiting another week to get the credit reports which if available to me now would help me decide as to whether to continue along with them. Time is money - especially with a vacant property.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th June, 2019 @ 14:12

@Melinda
I can completely sympathise.

While I can understand why OpenRent remove listings once a holding deposit is taken, I can also recognise the impracticality of it when deals fall through.

I sent an email to OpenRent based on your experience.

I personally don't take a holding deposit. So I guess that is one solution, so the listing always remain live. But that's precisely why I don;t take a holding deposit, because I keep looking for tenants until 1) deposit is paid 2) first months rent is paid 3) tenancy agreement is signed.

Is your asking price competitive?

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kim 21st June, 2019 @ 19:07

I always ask to see the prospective tenants' last 6 months original bank statements before doing any referencing. It is often very revealing - bounced cheques, constantly overdrawn etc. The dodgy ones always make excuses why they should not have to provide them, so you can rule them out straight away. I also get them to authorise any agents to release a copy of their application form to me as this also reveals some useful info. I find it is increasingly difficult to find decent tenants these days.

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Guest Avatar
Benji 21st June, 2019 @ 22:07

@Kim,

"I always ask to see the prospective tenants' last 6 months original bank statements before doing any referencing. It is often very revealing - bounced cheques"

What the kind of tenant writes a cheque nowadays, let alone bounces them?

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Guest Avatar
Simon 22nd September, 2019 @ 16:54

Interesting article but one type of prospective 'tenant' is the rent to rent type of person. That is people who want to rent properties then cram as many people in as they can so they can sublet at an inflated price.

These people could potentially fly through various credit checks because they're probably really wealthy. Employment checks could expose some but it seems possible they may have jobs too or claim to be self employed (which I suppose they sort of are).

Just wondering because I've just been visited by two people who seem great on paper as tenants but also a perhaps a bit too good to be true. I suppose my gut instinct is saying 'no' here but I'm concerned that maybe I'd be turning my back on potentially great tenants through being paranoid.

Interested to hear other's views or experiences with rent for rent people.

Great web site by the way.

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