Flaw in the Tenancy Referencing Process?

Flaw in the Tenancy Referencing Process?

8:57 AM, 29th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago 40

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Being a newbie to the rental business, I employed an agent to find me a tenant plus full management of the property. The tenant has now done a ‘flit’ leaving behind all his furniture and unpaid utility bills.

Having done some research on him, I have found out that he has substantial debts/CCJs and had I known about them, I would never have agreed to accept him as a tenant.

I queried this with the agents, who said that they had run a credit check but were not allowed to reveal the bad credit rating due to Data Protection laws. The agents say they have to obtain permission from the tenant before they can give me the credit reference that they obtained.

Surely anyone who has a bad credit rating is never going to give permission for that credit reference to be shared, as no landlord would accept this tenant?

This also allows the agents to put any tenants with very poor credit ratings in any property and then hide behind the Data Protection Laws?

In future, I will know to ask for a copy of the reference and if someone refuses that I will just presume that they aren’t creditworthy. I had thought that the agent was working for me and would protect my interests, I was obviously wrong.



by Peter

12:07 PM, 29th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Sadly, you are also now faced with the problem of abandonment. That is to say, the tenant has a right to live there whether he is paying rent or not and whether he’s actually there or not until you get a court order saying otherwise.

If you let the house without a court order or a letter from the tenant saying it he has voluntary ended the tenancy, then you risk the tenant coming back and saying that they want the house back. If you don’t give it to him or are unable to give it to him because you have let it to somebody else then the consequences are serious.

Such an eviction is a criminal offence and you risk jail by doing it.

Welcome to the land of landlording. Delightful isn’t it?

by Jane Tomlin

18:26 PM, 29th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 29/12/2021 - 11:41
Thank you. I think you are right, this game isn't for me!

by Hemant Shah

20:14 PM, 29th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Probably agent did not carry out a credit search in the first place. But they have charged you.

by Jane Tomlin

20:49 PM, 29th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hemant Shah at 29/12/2021 - 20:14
I think that she has done it for the previous rental, but not mine. Why admit you have done a credit check, if you haven't when a credit check is not mandatory when an agent checks referencing?

by Graham Bowcock

11:05 AM, 30th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 29/12/2021 - 11:41

Just to note that it is now unlawful for agents to take fees from tenants. All fees (barring some minor exceptions at low value) have to be paid by the landlord. There is now a much clearer line of payments, although legally the duty has always been to the landlord even if the tenant was paying some of the fees.

by John

22:33 PM, 30th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

I have had the same experience as Jane but even worse. I employed a top London Letting / Estate Agent ( M & P) to find a good tenant. She paid the rent for 6 months from savings and then stopped paying. It took me a year to get her evicted owing £21,000. I did my own research and found that she was evicted from her previous flat being behind with the rent, that she was unemployed when she moved in & had used a friend to give her a dummy employment reference and they lied on the reference report saying she had never been late with payments. I Took it up with M & P and
they said it was not their problem as they employed a Reference Agency to do the referencing. The local branch of M & P wanted the tenant in order that they get their commission. I think they knew the tenant was a bad penny. I then planned to sue M & P but their solicitor said they will fight it to the end. It would cost me over £10,000 to fight it and then the Judge might not allow me to win the case and then I would also have to pay M & P legal costs. So is it worth the risk?
M & P can get away with murder.

by psquared

22:59 PM, 30th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 30/12/2021 - 22:33
I find the knowledge if sine of the people who are landlords to be breathtakingly ignorant.

What do you mean the judge might not sllow you to win?
A 20k claim would start at £1k cost. But if you can prove that the reference showed them to be a bad risk you have a primae facie case of poor practice.

Its a solicitors job to scare you but to be honest if you dont bother to take an interest in who you are having in your property you deserve what you got. I know thats harsh but it sounds like you havent done any traini g to ve a landlord. Theres loads of excellent coursessthat you can take and they will give you a lot better undetstanding of how to rent and what to look for in refetences.

And please dont tell me the agents said they can't show you the reference due to gdpr. They are acting as an agent ( the clues in the name) and you have every right to see the reference report.

To be honest i have little sympathy. You can purchase your own report and if it passes for £100 you can insure the rent.

Being a landlord that does own references isnt hard. Its a lot lot cheaper and most imporyantky you can make your iwn decisio. About renting too the prospective tenant.

See so many people come unstuck but if you spent a outtle time and money learning how to do it you would be far les likeky to end up un the situation you are in.

by John

23:55 PM, 30th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by psquared at 30/12/2021 - 22:59
No, you have misunderstood what I said. The reference that M & P provided was a pack of lies as I explained in my last email. Their excuse was that they employed a referencing Agency to do the referencing.
I could have done a much better reference in less than an hour and I plan to do my own referencing in future.

by psquared

0:04 AM, 31st December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

I may be missing something but why would@reference agency lie to you?
And if they have lied it’s fraud and you would be in a strong position to make a claim against them. How do you know they “lied”
Have you sen the report😶? If you agreed to rent in the basis of that report and you can prove it was fraudulent you have a vet strong case against them…..but I really don’t see what they have to gain by lying.
You can’t easily do your own referencing.
You wouldn’t have access to the same information as the reference company.
The NRLA do one for about £25 so why would you bother?

For another £100 or so they will insure the rent mitigating the risk.
Have you got the original referenc?
I’m sorry but it just doesn’t make sense.
Also please be careful before you accuse a company of lying as unless you can prove what you say is true it is libellous

You had better be 100😦% sure of your facts or £10k costs would seem cheap if they decide to sue you for libel.

by John

11:12 AM, 31st December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

In future when I do a reference I would call their employer and their previous landlord which is easy and would tell me most of what I would need to know.
The reference Agency would lie and make faulse statements in the reference report to keep in with M & P as the M & P branch wanted the tenant for their commission. They have business with dozens of M & P branches so their business is important to them.

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