How does an individual landlord reference potential new tenants

by Readers Question

10:13 AM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

How does an individual landlord reference potential new tenants

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How does an individual landlord reference potential new tenants

I have a property that I have rented out before through an agent. My current tenants are moving and I have a friend of a friend who would like to rent my property, how do I do all the checks on them and can anyone recommend or advise me on how to do it.credit

Thank you

Lucy



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:15 AM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Lucy,

I wouldn't do it myself. I would take out rent guarantee insurance and let them do it for me.

The Tenants have to pass referencing to get the insurance.

Please see >> http://www.property118.com/rent-guarantee-insurance/85786/

Alison King

11:23 AM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I use the NLA tenant check service. You don't have to be a member and you can decide whether or not you want to take out rent protection insurance after you have seen the results.

Andrea Collins

12:46 PM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I highly recommend using Tenant Referencing UK (http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/).
I’ve used it for many years and its the best referencing in town, primarily because I cannot find the same calibre of Tenant History Reports any where else on the market.
They understand that just because a tenant might have a bad credit score doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a bad tenant.
AND they offer some great RGI (rent guarantee insurance) products too.
Good luck! 🙂

11:02 AM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Basic Reference £27 includes, Previous Landlord reference- " as supplied by the tenant " ??? a bit dubious.
Personally, I don't think a decent tenant reference service exits.

Jan Martin

12:07 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I have used a few different referencing services but they dont look into more than the basics. I put the check through RLA . I get paperwork filled in and always collect from the property they live in which gives me a reasonable idea on how they are living .I also check them out on Facebook . I check for any CCJs on Trust online.Obviously work and references are taken up too and previous landlord . If any doubts then I ask for a guarantor . Hope this helps .

Rob Crawford

12:49 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

All the previous comments recommend good solutions. I personally use Landlord Secure because it's a user friendly online system thats comprehensive and you get notified as the checks are progressing. The final report is provided as a PDF document. Whatever provider you use, once you have the results do some cross referencing to ensure details provided checkout (see Chris Daniels concerns). Also remember as part of immigrations checks, it is the landlords responsibility to do a physical photo ID check with original documents.

13:19 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I've used Landlord Secure Rob,
sorry, I wasn't impressed with them either

Mandy Thomson

13:52 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I've just done some referencing for the first time. I went with Tenant Referencing UK (after posting on their Landlord Referencing forum for many years) as a friend of mine who has done a lot of referencing recommended them.

However, I have not done a serviced reference, but a DIY one so I can see EXACTLY what I'm getting.

First run their detailed finance report at the CURRENT address, then the previous address, then at any linked addresses that are revealed.

If there's a current landlord, I run a search against the property with Land Registry https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0C7IdFQG9k5Tz/ to ensure they actually own it, and speak to them on the phone as well as simply getting them to complete the form.

I Google the prospective tenant, too - do they have a Linkedin profile - does that agree with what they've told you they do for a living? Also, does any relevant data about them come up on Companies House (if they're self employed)?

A person who enquired about viewing my property had the same (very unusual) name as a convicted fraudster!

To get RGI, you need to use the insurance from the company you reference with, and will need to run all their referencing checks.

Last but not least, get last 3 months bank statements - that alone tells you loads (is their rent regularly paid? Is their salary going in?). I had a prospective tenant who passed her credit check with flying colours, but was spending every penny while living with her parents!

Sponge Bob

14:47 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I've done my own referencing in the past but recently I use the NLA which is OK but I would prefer to see much more detail. I always try Facebook checks etc but they produce less than they used to. I'm interested in how Mandy does detailed financial reports against prospective tenants' current addresses. My tenants are usually young professional sharers and their addresses are more often than not their parents as they seem to continue to use these for bank accounts etc. I sometimes do Zoopla checks on their parents house and Land Registry documents. I haven't recently requested bank statements but I think I will start doing that again as Mandy does. Despite all this I don't even start on referencing until I am pretty sure the tenants are likely to be OK and I never rush tenants into anything!

Mandy Thomson

15:05 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sponge Bob" at "18/05/2016 - 14:47":

Hi Bob

The finance reports I'm referring to are offered by Tenant Referencing UK.

At first I was very reluctant to ask people to provide their bank statements - it feels very intrusive and I really hate it when I'm asked to provide my own!

However, I started doing this after hearing a cautionary tale from Paul Routledge about how he once let to a really nice chap with a very good job who passed his credit check with flying colours, only for it to transpire after he missed his first 2 months rent payments and he then reluctantly handed over his bank statements (when Paul offered to help him budget), that he was making regular payments to Ladbrooks....

I myself nearly took a tenant recently, again a really nice person with a good job who passed her credit check at her current address with flying colours, though not at her previous address, but she had been a student for most of her time there, and it was a house share, so I wasn't OVERLY concerned.

However, when she sent me half of the bank statements I asked for, she was spending almost all her salary.... while living with her parents (there were no outgoings for utilities, groceries etc). Had I taken her, it is likely she would have fallen into arrears. While I depend on my rental income, it wasn't simply for my own sake, but hers too - how would she have felt if I were forced to evict her?

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