Ensuring the quality and reliability of tenants is paramount to a successful let. Tenant checks and referencing play a pivotal role in this process, offering landlords the opportunity to make informed decisions and safeguard their investments. The legislative requirement for Right to Rent Checks further emphasises the new for due diligence in verifying a tenant’s eligibility to rent.
Tenant referencing serves as a protective shield for landlords, enabling them to avoid potential problems down the line wherever possible. By scrutinising a tenant’s history, financial stability and credibility, landlords can significantly reduce the risk of rental payment defaults, property damage and disputes. Comprehensive referencing provides insights that can aid in predicting a tenant’s behaviour, enabling the to make informed decisions.
Proof of Residency – Before beginning to check a tenant’s credit, you want to ensure that you are completing credit referencing against the correct address. Therefore, once application forms are complete, it is advisable to also request proof that they are residing at the address they have provided for those checks.
Land Registry – Where a tenant has advised they are a property owner or living with family you may wish to consider the additional step of checking the Land Registry for ownership details of the current address that the tenant has provided as part of their referencing. This allows you to verify the validity of the information provided and ensure that you are not missing the crucial step of obtaining a landlord reference if they are in fact renting the property.
Credit Check – Examining a tenant’s credit history sheds light on their financial responsibility This includes assessing their credit score, outstanding debts and any history of missed payments. A positive credit check is indicative of a reliable tenant who takes their financial obligations seriously.
Employment and Income Verification – Confirming a tenants current employment status and income assists in gauging their ability to meet rental payments both now and in the future. You should verify employment status, salary, ongoing job stability to ensure a consistent income source at the required level.
Rental History – Contacting prospective tenants previous landlords provides valuable insights into a tenant’s attitude and behaviours. This includes their adherence to the terms of the tenancy agreement, upkeep of the property and reliability when it comes to rent payments.
We would always recommend taking up references and obtaining data on a tenant directly wherever possible, sadly there have been reported incidents of faked documentation and information in the past and the only way to ensure the information and checks you are provided are complete and accurate is to ensure you have sight of original documentation and verify this directly or through a reputable referencing company or agent.
Right to Rent Checks have gained prominence due to their legal and ethical implications, however, they are a legislative requirement when letting a property. These checks ensure that tenants have the legal right to reside in the UK. Landlords are obligated to verify the immigration status of prospective tenants to prevent illegal occupancy.
Failing to complete the required Right to Rent Checks in their prescribed format has serious consequences for landlords with fines of between £1,000 for a first offence and up to £3,000 for further offences thereafter or a prison sentence of up to 5 years can be imposed.
Tenant referencing and Right to Rent Checks are the cornerstones of responsible property management in the UK. These processes allow landlords to make well informed decisions, mitigate risks and ensure the safety and legality of their rental arrangements. Thus, investing time and effort into completing comprehensive checks and referencing is a strategic move that foster successful and secure property management.