UK Consumer Credit Referencing


3 Ways Landlords Should Screen Tenants

Securing a responsible and reliable tenant is something all landlords and lettings agencies are keen to achieve. Landlords care deeply about their property and they understand the importance of only engaging tenants who care about their property as much as they do.

The necessity of running background checks

Running a background check on a tenant is a necessary and integral part of any likely tenancy agreement, so much so that background checks are now a formality. Using a tenancy screening service such as tenant checking has many advantages for the lettings agency or landlord.

A screening service is a one-stop-shop and is a fast and reliable way to obtain the background information required. Dealing with one organisation rather than trying to obtain references from several disparate individuals saves time, and landlords with more than one property in their portfolio will welcome this distinct benefit.

Using a screening service also saves money. Instead of entering into the unnecessary expense of making private phone calls to banks, previous landlords and employers, lettings agencies can cut their costs by outsourcing these tasks to a company dedicated to handling them professionally for the payment of a nominal premium.

Any background checks carried out by a screening service such as should be done with the consent of the tenant. All enquiries made on behalf of the landlord or lettings agency are accurate and above board.

Why references from previous landlords are important

The first thing a landlord will want to do with regard to a prospective tenant is to obtain a reference from their previous landlord or lettings agency. It’s vital that the landlord has a reassurance that the tenant has the habit of paying on time before commencing a tenancy agreement. These references, along with a credit check from a service such as can help landlords avoid bad credit risk tenants.

The landlord will also want to be sure that the tenant will look after the property they have been entrusted with, that they will maintain it to a high standard of cleanliness and take proper care of the fixtures and fittings if the property is furnished.

The ability to be well behaved and considerate towards the neighbours is another factor the landlord will want to take into account. Does the prospective tenant respect the people who live next door to them, or are they prone to making disturbances such as loud music at unacceptable hours?

High up on the list of the landlord’s requirements will be the character of the tenant and the likelihood of a good working relationship between them. The tenant will need to be of an honest and trustworthy character in order for the maintenance of smooth relations.

A letter from the tenant’s current employer is essential

It’s extremely important for the landlord to know that the tenant has the means and the ability to pay his or her rent on time and on a regular basis, so a background check on the tenant’s employment status is essential.

A letter from the tenant’s current employer is a must-have for any lettings agency and this letter will confirm the tenant’s job status and salary. This provides concrete evidence that the tenant is financially solvent so that they can cope with any down payment of deposit which may be required as a condition of tenancy agreement.

A letter from the current employer will also confirm how long the tenant has been in that particular job. Length of service is an important consideration for landlords because it’s common for people who change jobs regularly to change addresses regularly too, and the landlord will want to be forewarned of this.

The employer’s reference letter not only confirms the legitimacy of the tenant’s job status and salary but also confirms the status of the employer. This is a useful by-product of an employer reference as it enables the lettings agency check the status of the firm themselves and whether or not they are a reputable employer.

Landlords or letting agents that want to run further checks can also include other tenant screening checks.

Landlords deserve peace of mind

Landlords and lettings agencies provide a much sought-after service to the public, and it’s only right and fair that they should have the peace of mind which results from successful background checks.



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