Unacceptable tenants – do I need to supply a reference?

Unacceptable tenants – do I need to supply a reference?

9:52 AM, 12th August 2022, About 2 years ago 6

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Hello everyone, We had tenants for 4 years living in our 5 bed house next door.

We got on very well and we were quite relaxed with them.

Over time however, I came to realise that they were moving in more rodents in cages into bedrooms.

I arranged for an agent to start to manage the property and during an inspection my fears were confirmed. I asked them to move the cages downstairs as the bedrooms stunk.

After that things turned sour and they gave notice and refused to let us in for our next inspection.

The garden is a disaster as they did not tend to it once. For example, jasmine is rooted underneath the decking and garden wall. There are weeds everywhere and it is only a tiny garden.

They agreed for us to keep £600 of the deposit and they paid for two cleaners to clean the house, it took them over 7 hours to clean it.

They have gone into a new barn conversion with a local farmer, who has not asked for a reference from us.

Should we supply one anyway, just to give him the heads up re rodents in cages and how dirty they were and their lack of respect for our property? Their genuine lack of respect anyway, as they left without even saying goodbye – and he is a vicar!!

If I don’t supply a reference, can the farmer take me to court when he too realises what they are like? Do I have a duty to inform him?

Thank you,


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Reluctant Landlord

10:45 AM, 12th August 2022, About 2 years ago

if farmer does not ask for a reference his hard luck. He did not due due diligence or referencing thats his choice . You are under NO obligation to tell him about anything as he has not asked. No comeback on you at all.

Doug Ellison

15:06 PM, 12th August 2022, About 2 years ago

You are under no legal obligation to give a tenant a reference.
You can however be sued for giving an incorrect reference


15:21 PM, 12th August 2022, About 2 years ago

It’s a bit late to worry about it now anyway as it sounds like they have already moved in the farmer’s barn conversion. It’s the farmers responsibility to request references and seeing as he hasn’t I would feel relieved that they’re now somebody else’s problem! The farmer will only have himself to blame!


16:28 PM, 12th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Hi Elaine,

It is a nice thing for you to have been thinking about helping a fellow landlord. I am afraid as everyone else has said on here it is up to each landlord to do the due diligence on perspective tenants, often with the help of a good or great referencing agents. Personal I see it as a vital part of renting, unfortunately some just panic or just want to get the property or room rented. That can really backfire, in my opinion it is worth putting the time in and saying no to one’s you are not sure about, even then you can never be 100%, but you can at least reduce the chances of problems down the road. At least they paid for the damage.

Reluctant Landlord

7:20 AM, 13th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Doug Ellison at 12/08/2022 - 15:06
I have in one case been asked for a reference and not given a written reply. Just sent them photos of the state of the house after they left...

Bristol Landlord

8:28 AM, 15th August 2022, About 2 years ago

We all know you don’t have a legal duty to inform the new landlord of your ex tenants slovenly living habits, but this is not a case of duty but of being a decent human being and helping someone out, it’s called humanity. There seems to be quite a harsh attitude here towards the farmer landlord but maybe he is a trusting person, perhaps elderly and naive, perhaps sheltered and inexperienced, perhaps his previous experience of tenants has always been good and with decent tenants.
Personally I would call the landlord and let him know, it doesn’t need to be in writing, about your experience with these tenants. Why allow possibly years to go by before he finds out how disgusting they really are and has missed the chance to give them an S21. Please let him know ASAP.

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