Finding the right tenant for a property is a complex process that requires more than just a reference check. Agents typically have an average of six viable candidates for each lease, so it might be tempting to leave the property to the first applicant to pass a reference check. However, landlords in England are legally required to verify the right to rent of any tenant over the age of 18 and use the rental opportunity as a primary residence. This means that they must carry out checks on the “right to rent” to ensure that tenants are able to live legally in the UK.
These checks are mandatory for all adults (over 1 year old) who advertise the property as their primary residence, including allowed occupants. There are different ways to check a person's right to rent, depending on their country of citizenship. You can check your right to rent manually or through a certified identity service provider (IDSP). There are usually two methods of referencing: the agent collects and verifies the references himself or, as is often the case, the referencing process is transferred to an independent company for processing. If the applicant uses a guarantor instead, they can check the Property Registry to confirm the validity of the reference.
You must also ask the tenant for permission to obtain a credit report and the details you will need to provide to the credit reference agency. To prove your right to rent, you will need to show one or more of the documents from the categories known as “List A” and “List B”.Before a tenant can move into a rental property, they are expected to complete a series of reference checks to determine their suitability for the rental opportunity. Previous landlord references can be invaluable when deciding if you want to offer them a lease. It is recommended that detailed checks be carried out before transferring the property to someone (to reduce the risk of a potential tenant becoming a problem tenant); if a problem arises during the tenancy, you cannot harass the tenant or take matters into your own hands, whatever the circumstances. If the potential tenant is willing and able to answer your questions and meets your requirements, you can move on to the next phase of the selection process.
This will give you and the landlord confidence that the tenant will be able to pay and budget for the rental of the property. An IDSP provider will use identity document validation technology to obtain proof of the potential tenant's identity, verifying that they are valid and belong to the person claiming them. It's a good idea to decide who your references will be before you apply and let them know that you're going to give them their details. The landlord or leasing agent will use your participation code or documents to verify that you have the right to rent. If you receive a List B document, it will be necessary to carry out follow-up checks before the person's permission to remain in the UK expires.