How reliable is referencing in the current climate?

How reliable is referencing in the current climate?

9:53 AM, 24th August 2020, About 4 years ago 5

Text Size

The general good practice of ‘always get referenced tenants’ is going to get harder given there will be many renters on the market now who will fail standard referencing, does anyone have any suggestions of how to spot reliable tenants?

Mind you I have always taken referencing with a pinch of salt, as over the years I have learned those perfectly good tenants sometimes fail referencing, and vice versa. I have had reference passing tenants who it’s evident their falsified/exaggerated income was not picked up by the referencing company, and equally, had excellent reliable tenants who didn’t earn enough, but who I took a punt on, who were clearly so grateful to secure a place they made sure they didn’t lose it.

With some peoples incomes so unreliable in the months ahead, does anyone have any tips?

Many thanks


Share This Article


Charles Holt

10:32 AM, 24th August 2020, About 4 years ago

The best way, in my experience, is to ensure you get a guarantor. I had a UC tenant who did a 'midnight flit', and left me very much out of pocket (c. £1500). His father was the guarantor, and as a property owner, I have managed to get the back rent + various costs out of him. And I have just taken on another UC tenant, who has persuaded her grandfather and grandmother to be the guarantors. They own their property, so I can be sure of getting paid the rent + any costs, one way or the other. So, in consequence, I don't expect any trouble from the tenant. And believe you me, I have experienced trouble from tenants in the past..........

12:43 PM, 24th August 2020, About 4 years ago

Referencing is a load of rubbish, it's very easy for someone to mess with it and massage their record.
I stopped doing it years ago, have a good chat with tenant, understand their scenario, discuss my concerns and if I have any doubts offer then the place but with a guarantor.
Although while saying that the looming recession and doubling of unemployment definitely means I will have at least 1 problem tenant, it's statistics really.
I just keep a float of enough money to buy them out of the property if it goes pear shaped. Sadly the legal route is always more expensive and stressful. Local authorities look at that activities and much prefer an amicable land lord.

Mike T

16:45 PM, 24th August 2020, About 4 years ago

I've got a couple of guarantor story's of which one may make you smile - well we need a break from all this doom and gloom we are going through ...
A few years ago we rented a house to two male taxi drivers. One was separated from his wife, the other just a work related friend. They had got together to rent a place between them. No problem, we just need a sight of bank statements so we can verify your income and affordability. The unmarried guy could not come up with anything as he had only been taxi driving for a few months. We said we would accept a guarantor. His father was a home owner so we accepted him. All went well until said guy had a major breakdown with his taxi. No work = no money = turn to guarantor. So we approached dad the guarantor to pay his half of the rent. He said he was only going to pay this one time. This was followed up with a letter from him saying he did not wish to be a guarantor any more so please cancel this arrangement forthwith. Did we ?? come on !
Now I'm not sure if I smiled at the time but I do looking back. We did get a couple more months of rent from him but then realized that it could be a long term hassle. We released them from the tenancy and promptly found a more suitable tenant. Anybody else got some lighthearted tale with referencing or guarantors ?


1:09 AM, 25th August 2020, About 4 years ago

I always ask to speak to a parent, a friend and, if they are currently sharing, a current housemate.

Landlord Phil

10:28 AM, 1st September 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike T at 24/08/2020 - 16:45
Hiya Mike, yeah I had a guarantor that was convinced the AST of 6 months duration made him not responsible as it became a rolling tenancy. After the court date, wearing a decent suit to court, having a savvy solicitor in court & the threat of a CCJ, he wished he'd listened & paid earlier. Cost him a fortune in court fees etc. Very satisfying considering his rude and arrogant manner. I'd rather have not had to go to court, but the inner smile I had at court as very pleasing.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now