Tenant background checks reliable?

by Readers Question

9:46 AM, 6th July 2020
About 3 months ago

Tenant background checks reliable?

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Tenant background checks reliable?

Recently I got a new tenant offer and the agency hired FCC Paragon to do the tenant’s background check for us.

Since I had a bad experience the past few months with another tenant disappeared on me and didn’t pay rent for months and I just got really cautious about it.

Does anyone have the experience by using FCC Paragon services or others and how reliable are they?

Many Thanks

Vivi



Comments

Gary Nock

9:11 AM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Referencing is either
" expresss" - just a credit check which costs an agent £3-£8. Or a
" comprehensive" check that costs £20 which is credit, residence, salary,and employment. Since the tenant fee ban some agencies have either gone for the expresss reference or tried to do it themselves to save money. This is a false economy. As an agency we use Let Alliance on their Ultimate Reference which checks all the
" comprehensive check" items and will also issue rent insurance guarantee which is a very good service. We have been using LA for two years, they are very thorough and we have never had a bad tenant. They have found a few out though.
You can also have a look at prospective tenants open profile social media although landlords and agents need to be careful as this can be seen as an "invasion of privacy".

Mervin SX

9:45 AM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

For those who asked what some Landlords do, this is my way of approach. Note, my properties tend to get huge demand, so I am able to work it to my advantage:
- I use OpenRent to advertise and communicate with prospective tenants.
- When a viewing request comes in, I ask for a few things but particularly, employment status and proof of income along with the bank statement showing this credit, for a period of three months. If they can't send these to me by email, I will ask them to bring it with them to the viewing.
- Once a viewing is completed, and I have chosen a suitable tenant, I use OpenRent to complete a full referencing - they charge £20 per applicant/guarantor.
- My choosing of a suitable tenant is purely based on their affordability - I don't screen them based on their job, family status or pets.
- This has worked well, with no rental defaults or troublesome tenants!
Hope this helps,
Mervin SX.

P.S. I am a registered data controller with the ICO - so, I am upfront with my tenants about my registration and credibility in handling their data.

John

18:39 PM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

I let my flat via a major London Estate / Letting agent. They used Van Milbert Referencing Agency. They gave a glowing report with the recommendation that we should proceed with the tenant. We took her on. She paid for about 6 months and then got about 11 months in arrears owing over £20,000. We then did our own research on her and found out that she was out of work when she moved in, that she had been evicted from her previous flat and that her employee reference was untrue and provided by a friend.. The reference report wasnt worth the paper it was written on. The Property Ombudsman was on the side of the letting agent and said that they had used a referencing agent so did all they could have done , which is disgusting as I as a layman could see that the reference report was a scam. I am taking the letting agent to court.

Chris @ Possession Friend

18:49 PM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 11/07/2020 - 09:11
Not if their accounts are Open, - its long been a practice of many agents

Gary Nock

19:06 PM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Note I said:
"landlords and agents need to be careful as this can be seen as an "invasion of privacy".

"Can be" Not will be. Yes I know most agents do it. But as contributors we need to point out potential pitfalls.

psquared

22:39 PM, 11th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tracy Conner at 11/07/2020 - 07:45
Just to correct one point. You can actually use the nla reference service without being a member...it just costs about £5 more for the reference.

Gary Nock

0:39 AM, 12th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 11/07/2020 - 18:39
Why did the agent or landlord allow them to get 11 months in arrears? Was a Section 8 served after 2 months arrears? And a Section 21? If a managed agent - negligence. If a Let Only Landlord - then use an agent who knows what they are doing and offers rent insurance guarantee.

Chris @ Possession Friend

7:00 AM, 12th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 11/07/2020 - 18:39
Hi John,
Would you please get in contact, off-line about that reference from Van Milbert.
My email address is on my web site.
Thanks

Smartermind

6:25 AM, 17th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 06/07/2020 - 19:43
Yes, we reported it to the police, but the police did not bother with it other than taking initial statements and evidence. We didn't pursue it as no damage had been done.

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