Why Tenant Reference Checks Matter to Landlords

Landlords, you know that good tenants are hard to come by. Those that care for your property like it’s their home (because it is), who won’t call constantly with silly problems and who pay their rent on time. 
So, what’s the first step to finding them? 
It might feel like a boring admin exercise, but a thorough reference check is more than just finding out whether someone can meet the monthly rent. 
Unfortunately, lots of landlords cut corners when it comes to this stage. 
In this two-minute read, we look at some common mistakes landlords make when it comes to referencing. 
Doing it themselves
If you’re a landlord trying to save every penny, be warned: scrimping on a tenant reference check could lose you future rental income. A reference not only looks at whether a tenant can afford the rent, but also informs you of their past credit history, employment history and previous dealings with former landlords. 
If you go it alone, you may miss vital information and find yourself in trouble later. 
Ignoring Right to Rent rules
In February 2016, the Right to Rent scheme was passed. This requires landlords to ensure that their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. If you’ve skipped the referencing stage, or not checked proof of identity records properly, you could face hefty fines if your tenant is found to be illegally living in the UK.
No references from previous landlords and/or employers
It’s not all about the money. You want to know what type of person your tenant is and how they will treat your property. The referencing process allows you to make checks with previous landlords and/or employers, so you can get a feel for who your tenant is. If a previous landlord reports that they were late with rent or damaged the property, you can avoid yourself a lot of hassle. 
Not using a letting agent
Letting agents deal with landlords and tenants every day. They know the referencing process inside out, so why wouldn’t you use them? Yes, you may save some money on fees, but it’ll be worse if you choose a tenant without making the proper checks and they fail to pay the rent completely. 
With the Renters Reform Bill looming, landlords should take every step to protect their properties and incomes, and a reference check is essential. 
If you’ve got a rental and need help finding trustworthy tenants, contact Gibbins Richards Lettings and Management Ltd today. We know what makes a good reference and can help you find the right people for your property. 
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