Landlords Still Failling To Conduct Proper Tenant Referencing Checks

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Landlords Still Fail To Conduct Proper Tenant Referencing Checks

Landlords Still Fail To Conduct Proper Tenant Referencing Checks

Know Who You Are Renting To – The Importance Of Tenant Referencing

UK landlords who fail to carry out even the most basic pre-tenancy tenant referencing and background checks are leaving themselves exposed to housing some of the worst tenants occupying their rental property.

The importance of proper tenant referencing and background checks cannot be stressed enough, renting property is a business for landlords and they don’t want to end up paying out for endless property repairs or spending even more money to evict non paying bad tenants.

According to the latest research conducted by insurance firm AXA, nearly two-thirds of tenants in the UK’s private rented sector admitted to breaking the terms of their private rental sector tenancy agreement during the period of a tenancy. Alarmingly, around a third of tenants surveyed also said that they had broken the law during their tenancy as well.More needs to be done to encourage landlords to be aware of their legal obligations when renting property to tenants and the first step is always “Know Who You Are Renting To”

Landlords are always under close scrutiny, by those that seek to highlight the vagaries of the UK’s private rental sector, and are now subject to heavier legal penalties than they have been before.

The introduction of the new Immigration Bill has financial penalties for landlords who fail to check the immigration status and legal right to rent of prospective tenants, which highlights the need for landlords to conduct proper tenant referencing checks.

The West Midlands region of the UK had the highest number of tenants who admitted to breaking the law during the course of their tenancy with 16% of tenants saying they had committed a crime on the landlord’s property.

These figures are double the 8% national average according to the survey.

Tenants in the West Midlands admitted to sub-letting, noise and anti social behaviour complaints and smoking in the property when there was a no smoking clause specifically in place on their tenancy agreement.

Of course even the most advanced computer tenant referencing system cannot predict if a landlords future tenant would break the law during the course of a tenancy, but it does provide landlords with a detailed insight into the tenants employment status, rental record, criminal record and financial stability.

Manchester based landlord, Dave Lawrence knows the pitfalls of not properly tenant referencing applicants only too well, after allowing a friend of a friend to rent out his mother’s old house in Salford. Everything started well, the rent was being paid every month on time and in full but when neighbours started stopping Mr Lawrence in the street to complain about the tenant, his suspicions were raised.

Neighbours had told Mr Lawrence about people calling at the property at all hours of the day and night, loud parties and chronic trouble with youths causing damage to cars parked on the street. Mr Lawrence arranged to have a word with his tenant and that’s when Mr Lawrence’s troubles really started.

The tenant was aggressive and abusive to Mr Lawrence for bringing the neighbour’s complaints to their attention and subsequently refused to communicate further and stopped paying the rent, forcing the reluctant landlord to start tenant eviction proceedings. When Mr Lawrence recovered the property 3 months later he discovered that the property had been trashed by the tenant, who it turns out had previous convictions for causing criminal damage.

If the landlord had conducted comprehensive tenant referencing checks before the start of the tenancy he could have saved himself a fortune, just by waiting for a more suitable applicant to come along, rather than accepting a tenant who turned out to be a huge risk.

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 11:30 am. Filed under Eviction, Referencing. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.