24/06/2019 In recent months a storm has broken around short-let adverts... What is tenant referencing?
Whether you’re new to being a landlord or you have years of experience letting out property, finding the right tenants can be tricky. While the vast majority of tenants are honest and reliable, there are those who cause problems. From consistently paying rent late or not paying it at all, to damaging property or being nuisance neighbours, these people can make your life as a landlord extremely difficult and they can end up costing you a lot of money.
A tenant reference check helps you to avoid these problems. It’s a process of screening and background checks which includes important details you need to be aware of in order to make an informed decision concerning who to let your property to. From employment verification, to credit checks, to references from previous landlords, a good tenant referencing service provides you essential information covering a range of areas.
Why should I use a tenant referencing service?
Given that the stakes are so high when it comes to finding the right tenants, it’s simply not worth the risk of getting this wrong. In the UK, it takes an average of seven to eight months to evict a private tenant, so if you end up with unsuitable people renting your property, you could face a long struggle to remove and replace them. In the meantime, you may incur a range of costs - from having to arrange property repairs to covering missed rental payments. Also, if you go down the path of eviction, there will be legal fees to pay. There are insurance products, such as Rent Guarantee which can offer protection in these circumstances, but the criteria for those insurances will likely stipulate that appropriate tenant referencing has been carried out.
While you may think you can get all of the information you need about a potential tenant simply by meeting them and asking questions about their circumstances and background, there’s always a risk that you’ll get a false impression. So, even if you’re in a rush to find new tenants for your rental property, it’s important to get appropriate references. Not doing so could save you a little time in the short term, but it may be storing up major trouble for the future.
You might be tempted to run tenant checks yourself, but this can be a mistake. Getting the details you need can be difficult and time consuming, and there may be things you miss. In contrast, if you turn to the professionals, you can rest assured this process will be conducted thoroughly and efficiently.
At HomeLet, we have decades of experience in tenant referencing. Our service is affordable, easy to use and will give you that all important extra peace of mind that you’re choosing the right tenants for your property.
What should a tenant reference include?
When you’re looking for a reference for a tenant, you should make sure it includes certain key pieces of information. For example, it should ensure that the person is who they say they are - including looking into any previous names and addresses which they may not have disclosed to you. It should also examine whether there is any adverse credit history, such as bankruptcy, CCJs or court decrees. In addition, a good tenant reference will look into whether there’s an undisclosed credit history linked to the tenant’s current home and their most recent addresses. It will also make sure that the bank details provided relate to a genuine account.
At HomeLet, we provide a number of tenant reference services, and all of them include these essential checks. We also offer a number of extra checks for further reassurance. Choose from our Insight, Enhance and Optimum services to find one that matches your exact needs.
Why choose HomeLet?
Default Database, unique to HomeLet - We have years of defaulting tenant data, and we naturally run an automatic check against this to keep you ahead of the game.
Undisclosed credit history - We’ll bring any hidden debt linked to their current and most recent homes to the surface.
Hidden names and addresses - We’ll also run checks on details they haven’t provided.
We’ll contact employers to confirm that the applicant earns what they say they earn and that they’re going to be employed for the tenancy term. We’ll also speak to their current landlord to be certain that they were a good tenant and that you have nothing to be concerned about.
Bank Validation - Nine times out of 10, the bank details provided to you at the start of the referencing process will be the same details the tenant will use to pay their rent. We run a quick check to make sure that the details they have provided are for a genuine bank account.
We have over 25 years’ experience in the lettings industry and we’re the UK’s largest tenant referencing provider.
Your tenant can complete their details online...
1. You enter the details for your let property and enter your potential tenants email address
2. We’ll email your tenant with step-by-step instructions 3. We’ll let you know when your potential tenant has entered their information and that it’s ready for you to review and submit To get started simply complete our short registration process or sign in, or if you’d prefer you can download our application forms, which include instructions for submitting paper application forms to us.
Compare our referencing products We make it easy for you...
As part of our process you’ll need to enter all of your prospective tenant’s details - which could take a while. So, to make it easy for you, we’ll automatically send an email to your tenant asking them to enter their details securely online. We’ll notify you when they’ve entered their details, you’ll then be able to review their information and submit your reference.
Start a reference