Referencing is it important?

May 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

As a property owner I understand how important it is to make sure that the people you rent your house to will care for it as their home.

Why reference?

You meet prospective tenants and they have a look around the property and then decide they want to move in.  You’ve only met them for a few minutes.  It isn’t easy to decide on face value whether someone is a good tenant.

What to check?

Request full names with documentary evidence of an original passport, driving license or other photographic ID that they might have.  Get them to list all addresses in the last five years with landlord/letting agent details for a reference.  This is for all occupants over the age of 18 years.

Confirm who they work for.  Get the full company name and address, National Insurance number, salary level and a contact name for the company including their current job description.  Get them to provide a telephone number and e-mail address.

Take bank reference details and also details of any credit cards, loans etc that the tenant may have.  Ask if they have a debt management agreement in place.  Some people get into difficulties and ask for help in sorting it out.  As long as they can provide a guarantor it may not deter them from taking on a property.

Ask for a guarantor for all housing benefit tenants, students and anyone that doesn’t have a full five years residential history.

Should you check or get a referencing company to do it for you?

Doing reference checking yourself is quite time-consuming and not always as fruitful as a referencing company can be.  I would always go with a referencing company.  This makes any guidance unbiased.  If in any doubt a reference company will ask you to get a guarantor.

Also with a full reference check you can obtain insurance on the tenancy.

§ One Response to Referencing is it important?

  • qualety99 says:

    We recently had someone requiring a property but he hadn’t been in the country long enough to have a work or address history for references. He was happy to pay six months up front for the property but we requested to see the usual documentation.

    When he arrived the passports he brought us as photo id were only photocopies not the originals. So we wouldn’t complete the deal without sight of the originals.

    In the meantime I was able to check the copies against my own passport format (which I know is original). The numbers on the copy were not in the correct sequence and the font seemed to be the wrong size. Needless to say the tenancy was refused

    Always remain alert to cash up front deals. Don’t be tempted by the cash, remember you’re handing over a valuable asset and this needs to be safeguarded

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