What is Referencing?
When a landlord or agent assesses a potential tenant’s suitability, they perform tenant referencing checks. A landlord may perform a simple credit check on a prospective tenant or a comprehensive background check.
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It is very important for landlords to reference their properties in order to protect their investment’s value. Most tenants are responsible and pay their rent on time. For landlords, it can be immensely frustrating and costly if their tenants are among the small minority who don’t. This process can take months if you have particularly bad tenants.
You maximise your chances of getting a responsible tenant and minimize your property’s risks by referencing prospective tenants before granting a tenancy.
How can I do a reference?
You will need to decide how involved you want to be in the referencing process, as well as how much information you want to obtain about your tenants.
A simple credit check is sufficient for most landlords to ensure a tenant does not have any outstanding County Court judgments. Other tenants may want to verify the details the tenant provided with their former landlords or current employers. In order to comply with the insurance conditions, landlords with rent guarantee insurance may be required to complete thorough referencing.
Can someone else reference for you?
You can usually reference your tenants by employing someone to do it for you. If you hire a referencing service or a letting agent, they will complete the reference for you. To ensure a tenant will be able to pay the rent, contact previous landlords or employers.
How much does reference cost?
You will have to pay different fees depending on the type of background check you need and the company you use for professional referencing. A professional referencing company usually charges between £15 and £40 per tenant.
Reference checks can still cost you if you do them yourself. If you want to check your tenant’s previous landlord’s identity, for example, you must pay £3 every time. If you want to conduct a basic credit check on your prospective tenant, you might have to pay a small fee.
Can I pass reference checks over to the tenant?
The tenant fees bill 2019 means you cannot charge a tenant for a reference even if it fails. This cost must be paid by the landlord or the agent itself.
At lofti.co we allow agents and landlords to complete a reference through our system. With 4 easy flows, a landlord or agent can upload the correct information and allow our in-house team at Lofti to do the rest of the job for them. Lofti will look at all the relevant documents and will notify the landlord or agent if the potential tenant has passed the reference or not. Landlords and agents also have the option of doing the reference themselves on the system and skipping the option of Lofti to do it for them.
With Lofti you can save up to 60% of admin time by having everything on one system.