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I’m currently in the process of letting out a property but it’s the first time I’ve done it without the help of a letting agent. I’m meet a potential tenant there tonight and was wondering what information do I need to gather to help referencing them? Has any one used OpenRent or similar?
Do potential tenants pay for their referencing?
like I previously mentioned this is my first time doing it this way so any info/ advice is greatly appreciated
I would do a credit check - make sure they don't have any bad debts/CCJs behind them.
Tenant may spin you a story about being perfect etc and a landlord may be keen to get rid of them so will go along with this version of events. It may not happen of course, but due diligence is key.
You need their permission to do a credit check due to data protection, so get them to sign that they agree to it. I think you need their name, DOB and a current address would help.
I pay for these myself via another property portal, they are very cheap and £2 a pop. Wouldn't bother charging tenants for them.
Hope this helps.
I use OpenRent to reference the tenants. Costs £20 (which the tenants pay for) and on the back of that I am able to get RGI (which I pay for).
What portal do you use for your references? And do they offer RGI?
Hey, I used PIMS when I let directly. I still have credit checks available to use in my account.
Not sure if they offer RGI - feel free to check yourself, they probably do - but I have no need for that at the mo (Uni offered me a rent guarantee with their management agreement).
Hi Rich,Print out the below and take it to the viewing:15 questions every landlord should ask prospective tenantsI also recommend that you consider Rent Guarantee Insurance to cover rent arrears and legal costs, if the tenant stops paying. It costs around £100.00 per annum and is available from our insurance partner, Alan Boswell Group, on 01603 649736 . See - Mitigating business risk through insuranceBefore deciding to self-manage as a newbie, I suggest you watch this video to understand the risks:
Hope that helps and good luck!
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
... if you go to the landlord hub from our homepage @ https://www.upad.co.uk, there is a load of top tips / advise in guides and webinars on how to conduct viewings etc. A very thorough resource ...
I've used the OpenRent referencing facility a few times, you just need the prospective tenants name, email address and phone number (and permission) - OpenRent will contact them to get everything else. My experience has been positive, the process seems to work well.
I'd definitely recommend getting a full reference and credit check. Look at the details of the report you get back, not just the headline result - I've accepted tenants in the past who didn't strictly "pass" but were very close. In these cases I might ask to see recent bank statements or similar to double check their financial stability.
My view is that a reference check is sufficiently cheap that it's not worth charging tenants (especially considering the up-coming tenant fee ban).
The landlord associations also provide fairly cheap reference checks. There are also options available that can provide rent insurance (if the tenant is good enough).
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I use Landlordreferencing.co.uk they are one of the most expensive at £50 each, but that includes “detailed” referencing including a full credit check and a search in a Tenant history database, supposedly from previous landlords of tenants to avoid.I personally don’t believe referencing and credit checks is an area to skimp on so get the best I can. I’ve been impressed with service and like the personal contact when needed and the online tracking and communication.You give them the tenants contact info and they do the rest. I’ve used much cheaper services and had to chase them up too much for my liking and feel you get what you pay for.
I am a landlord myself and I have been using a company called flatfair. It was free for me to sign up and they do the background checks and referencing for you. It is also deposit free which is a bit scary, but you actually get more security than a normal deposit. It is a lot easier for me to manage my properties through them, than what I have done in the past. Definitely recommend!