Tenant Referencing FAQs- By: Amy Choi
How much will it cost?
The cost of a tenant reference will vary depending on the quality of the service and the information needed. Most Letting agents and landlords will require a credit score and an employer reference and previous landlord reference. A good online service should cost about £10 for the credit check and the tenant referencing.
Can I do it online?
You can get your tenants credit checked online and get the results back in an instant. You can even do the tenant referencing online as well - good providers will offer this all from one system. Online systems are quick and easy and will store all the tenants information in one online file that you can access at any time.
What if my tenants credit score is too high?
There maybe a few factors behind your tenant having a bad credit score, from bad debt to being on a low income to not being on the electoral register. If you find you have a tenant which you are unsure about renting to due to their credit score then you can always request that they provide a guarantor to sign for the tenancy agreement. This guarantor will take over rental payments and any other liabilities should the tenant default at any time. This guarantor acts as insurance against a tenant that didn't tick all the boxes. You must carry out a credit check and references on the guarantor to make sure they are suitable for carry out that responsibility.
My tenant has CCJ's on their report, what is this?
CCJ's stand for County Court Judgments and they show up on a tenant's reference if they have had outstanding debt and been taken to court to pay up. This is a good indication of a tenant's financial responsibility, if they owe money to other people and have been taken to court to pay up then why would they pay you on time.
What if they have only just moved back or moved to the country?
In order to complete tenant referencing and obtain a tenant credit check the tenant will need to have 3 years in country address history to check against. If a tenant has only just moved back or moved to the country then they will not have the address history you need. You can still check their employer and previous landlord. In this situation it would be best to request a guarantor as insurance just in case.
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Amy Choi writes for LettingRef, the online tenant referencing application for letting agents and landlords in the UK. The easiest way to reference tenants online.