Referencing Tenants – Why it matters and what options a landlord has if it fails?

It is important we gather as much information as possible from prospective tenants, this enables you as the landlord to make an informed decision.
As your managing agent we complete a comprehensive report comprising of a credit check, employment reference, landlord reference (if the applicant has rented) and an affordability assessment. We also obtain a number of documents as part of the application ID, proof of residence, bank statements and payslips.

1. Credit Checks
The credit check shows any CCJ’s, IVA’s, Bankruptcy etc. a tenant may have had at current/previous addresses.
The report also shows any linked addresses, this provides an opportunity to discuss any addresses which aren’t listed on the application form.

2. Employment Reference
The employment reference confirms the length of employment, salary, hours worked, job title etc.
This enables us to assess the tenant’s affordability.

3. Landlord Reference
The landlord reference gives an insight on how the tenant has conducted their tenancy at their current/previous addresses. It provides information on the length of the tenancy, rent per month, rent paid on time, anti-social behaviour, and damage to the property and whether the agent/landlord would re-let to them.

4. Documents
We request a number of documents as part of our application such as;
– 2 x forms of ID
– Residence permit (if applicable)
– Proof of residence
– Last three months bank statements
– Last three months payslips

We request the payslips as another form of evidence confirm the tenant’s salary.
We request the bank statements as part of the affordability check to ensure tenants don’t have regular large outgoings which could have an impact on paying the rent.

What happens if the applicant fails referencing?
It isn’t advisable to accept an applicant if their referencing has failed, however there may be some circumstances which you may consider still proceeding with letting the property to them.
There can be options if an applicant fails referencing, below are few scenarios;

What if a CCJ comes up on the report?
This may fail the reference if a tenant doesn’t disclose this on their application form. If you wanted to consider proceeding with the application we would advise that either the tenant pays the CCJ in full or a payment plan has been set up, sufficient evidence would need to be supplied in order to show this.

What if the employment isn’t permanent?
If the tenant is on a contract of employment, the term of the contract could be looked at and ensure it covers the fixed term of the tenancy.
What if the affordability is short?
The tenant could provide a guarantor, the guarantor must be a UK homeowner and would go through the same referencing checks as tenants.

What if the rent wasn’t paid on time?
Find out the reason why, it could be something as simple as the direct debit/standing order wasn’t set up.
What if damage was caused?
Find out what damage, it could be something such as the property required cleaning at the end of tenancy.

Ultimately you as the landlord have the final decision!
As your managing agent we will gather all the information possible so the best decision can be made finding you the best tenant.