Frequently Asked Questions
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What about referencing my tenants?
Carrying out a tenant reference correctly is possibly the most important process you will undertake as a landlord renting a private property.While the initial thrill of securing a tenant can lead to a strong desire to get a deposit and issue a contract to seal the deal, taking the critical step of tenant referencing means you have total peace of mind that the tenant you have selected is the right one. Rental property is in great demand, meaning tenants will often apply for a number of new homes, some right at the top of their affordability zone,simply to secure somewhere to live. This can create numerous problems further down the line but can be avoided with a comprehensive tenant referencing check.
It’s imperative not to rely solely on the personal reference provided by the client. Although these can make a good starting point, a more detailed and comprehensive check should be undertaken. Professional tenant referencing and credit referencing is the only way to confirm that your tenant is who they say they are, has the financial means to pay the rent on time each month and is worthy of being entrusted with your investment property.
What Are The First Steps In Tenant Referencing?
A number of different checks make up a comprehensive reference. Typically these will encompass the tenant’s civil history such as whether or not there is a record of any CCJ's being made against them,credit referencing, affordability calculations and residency checks.There are also a number of requests that you can make before commissioning a professional tenant referencing service which will help you to determine if the person is who they claim to be.
Collect ID & Proof of Address:
Ask your prospective tenant to provide a copy of their passport (if you can see original to ensure it is not fake), working visa (when not a UK resident), proof of address x 2 (Utility bill, council tax or bank statement dated in the last 3 months).
Collect a holding deposit and holding deposit form:
We would suggest asking for a holding deposit to cover the referencing charges in the event the tenant pulls out of the property,or the referencing fails or they do not cooperate. This will ensure the prospective tenant(s) are genuine and willing to take a reference check making it clear if they were to fail the referencing it will not be refunded if it fails or they pull out.
Step Two: Commissioning A Professional Tenant Referencing Service
I Am The Agent offers a fixed fee tenant reference service. Priced at £49.99 per person, the fee can be paid by you as the landlord or the prospective tenant. We can provide a complete report sometimes within 48 hours with a firm decision as to whether or not the tenant is a suitable one.
To carry out a tenant referencing check, simply provide us with the tenant’s full name and contact details. Then leave the rest to us.
I Am The Agent’s Complete Credit Referencing Report Includes:
- Overall Decision: Based on the findings of our checks, we will give a definitive yes or no decision on page one of your report.
- Credit Check: We will carry out a detailed credit check, including research into any unpaid loans, credit card debts or previous debt problems. Based on the results of the credit history check, we may recommend that a guarantor be requested before you rent a private property to the candidate in question.
- Affordability Check: Even if a tenant has an impeccable credit history, this does not guarantee that they can afford the monthly rental fees. I Am The Agent’s affordability check will confirm income amount and ensure that it is a minimum of 2.5 times the rental fees.
- Residency Check: We will confirm that the tenant lives where they say they do, check for any undeclared addresses, potential aliases and confirm date of birth.
- Public Information Check: Ensures that the tenant does not have adverse records, checks for active and satisfied CCJ's as well as amounts outstanding. We will also check for any bankruptcy filings.
- Previous Landlord Reference: A reference from a previous landlord provides an invaluable insight into how trustworthy a tenant is and if they are a suitable candidate for your private house rental. Ask for the name, address and telephone number plus an email address if available of the tenant’s most recent landlord and be sure to speak to them in person. Key questions to ask include details of any damage to the property and whether or not the rent was paid on time and in full.
- Employer Reference, in order to confirm that your would-be tenant is employed and able to pay the rent, request a current employer referenced. You will need the name of the tenant’s line manager or supervisor, the tenant’s job title, place of work and contact details