Jump to content

Landlord references and credit checks


Recommended Posts

I have a prospective tenant that earns 35k per year, but has just moved to the UK 6 months ago. Has never rented in the UK so no landlord references are available and has had a UK bang account for 6 months so no credit check available. Is this a risk? And are there other checks I can make to safeguard myself? 


Thanks in advance?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They providing a British and reachable G'tor seems less likely. That would be the let down for me.

They could be earning a £Million, but if they relocate over seas it doesn't help you any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point. So, no guarantor likely & ineffective RGI.

That only leaves 3 options:

1. Do nothing. Or

2. Give up letting & sell the property. Or

3. Are you still allowed to ask for 6 months rent in advance ?

If you go ahead with letting you can still

* check the bank account,

* the employment status/ contract,

* the person & his qualifications,

* ask about employment history,

* ask to see the work permit/ visa, 

* references from where he has been living in The last 6 months.

* meet him personally, gauge his suitabilty and that he meets your requirements.

* check if he intends to move his family to the UK with him now or later.

* don't forget immigration checks.

* etc


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My reply to Pete82 is that your prospective tenant would not be top of my tenant list purely because of the questions you are asking. Lower the risk you are faced with and look for another tenant but okay, if you can absolutely confirm that the person you mention is the person(s) for you than you must cover yourself with a cast iron backed tenant rent /eviction insurance policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've let to many overseas tenants. They are always in the UK for work reasons and generally tend to be in the professions.....engineering, medical, teaching, IT, legal, management etc. They are usually very well qualified, mostly degree level or above. The ones I've had have been very honest, well behaved and have always avoided any dispute. In fact they don't want to do anything that could adversely affect their reputation or employment situation.

The biggest problem I've found with overseas visitors is the culture change. For example.....those from the Indian sub continent usually have never experienced a British winter, have never known central heating. They usually are from middle class families who, in their home country have domestic staff. This means they are not familiar with cookers, fridges and have never used a vacuum cleaner as at home their staff deal with all of that.

However, I would generally recommend overseas tenants in favour of anyone else.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have recently had a lodger from overseas move in who closely fits the description in OPs post, earns just over 30k, been in the UK for 6 months, no landlord reference but a reference confirming their employment with the NHS. I have never had so many problems with a lodger, I have had to deal with damage and noise disturbance from bass music. I have had lodgers for several years. They paid rent and deposit on the moving in day, but I had to chase for the next rent payment, if I have to chase for the next rent payment then notice is going to be given. I will be this person's first landlord referee and I won't be able to say they paid rent on time, I guess they don't realise how important that is. This person seemed fine before moving in but ceased to speak to me after, won't even respond to hello, they respond to emails though. 

Don't make any assumptions. In future if I can't get a landlord reference then I won't consider renting to the person. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why didn't you ask why there was no landlord reference ? If they have lived in the UK for 6 months then there should be a reference. No reference available & no good reason = a bad reference.

I wouldn't have touched them with your bargepole. It's not rocket science, it just requires a little bit of applied common sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I understand it Lodgers have minimal occupation rights as opposed to tenants on tenancy contracts. In this particular case experienced by sunnydays would it not be fairly easy to eject them from their lodgings of a live in landlord for any resonable reasons? 

I have never had lodgers or any any experience of lodgers. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes just one months notice is required to end the lodger agreement, since they pay rent monthly, hence I can take a chance and see how things work out. I would not have offered a room to this person if I was a live out landlord. I have in the past been a live out landlord, in that situation landlord references are essential. When I was last advertising there were red flags for all who were interesting in viewing the property. This was the only person who turned up to the viewing who was in employment. The room had been empty for two months, with no voids prior to that time other than a day or two between tenancies. These aren't normal times, although hopefully things will start to improve soon. 

Live in landlord situations put some people off, I fully understand that due to past experiences I have had myself as a lodger. I learned from my own bad experiences. So in times like these I feel I can't bee too choosy. 

The situation with this lodger now is that they are not speaking to me, don't even respond when I say hi to them. They have twice spilt sodium hydroxide on wooden kitchen worktops in the past month while making large batches of soap. I spoke to them after first seeing damage, as shown by the black spots on the worktop in the attached picture, and they did this again a few weeks after. I have twice had to sand down worktop sections and oil again, looks a little patchy now, ideally I need to refinish the whole surface. I had to chase for the last rent payment which was overdue. They keep closing the bathroom window before having a shower and leaving it closed, this leaves walls covered in condensation. They play bass music in their room, below mine, not loud but the bass and vibrations affect my concentration while working from home. 

The reason for leaving the last place was they say due to a problem with the heating. The central heating wasn't working they said. The landlord had supplied mobile heaters for bedrooms but not communal spaces. At the time of moving it was getting warmer so I doubt now that was the reason for moving. They advised they couldn't give a reference from the last landlord so it seems the relationship had broken down and it has with me too, so there is a pattern here. They mentioned the street the house was on, around the corner from my place. I saw the full address on boxes they threw outside I then needed to break down for recycling. Their last place has an immaculate high maintenance front garden full of flowers, the house looks well maintained, the look of the house tells me that was likely also a live in landlord situation. 

They brought stuff to my house in two stages, a second van load arrived two weeks after the first, far more stuff than any of my lodgers has had, perhaps some was in storage, they are even filling up spaces on top of the kitchen cupboards. 

I plan to move out of the property in a few months, I'm applying for new jobs in other places. When I move the lodgers become tenants. I have another lodger who has been here 2.5 years and no problems there. I think future damage to the kitchen, mould in the bathroom, annoying the next person I rent my current bedroom to, and potential high tenant turnover is a likely outcome of this lodger becoming a tenant. As a tenant in this situation I would feel this person has taken over a bit. Also I feel a risk of not paying rent given I had to chase for the last payment. 

I feel with this lodger the problems are too many to resolve and they aren't likely to be resolved and that my best option is to give notice before I move out? Thoughts on this are appreciated. 



worktop damage.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Notice served, they have responded by asking for more time than one month. In their email they also acknowledge the damage done and noise disturbance, evidently aware but lacking consideration for others and respect for the property. I have responded saying I can't give more time, the notice is reasonable, and that there are many rooms being advertised in the local area. More than half of these rooms are available now. They don't need more time, they are trying it on. There is plenty of choice but I suspect there will be landlords who will turn this person down, they can't give a past landlord reference as there were issues there, my honest reference will raise a few red flags given the usual questions asked. I will be giving the minimum information requested. Some HMO landlords don't ask for references so I suspect that will be their best option, and there are plenty of those locally. Personally I feel this person needs a flat of her own and isn't well suited to shared accommodation. Its their choice what they rent however. 

They also informed me that rent wasn't paid when due last month as they were at work that day, that is just not an acceptable excuse, they only paid when I chased after rent was 48 hours overdue. Seems they had no plans to set up a direct debit. Another bizarre argument they make was that the first instance of worktop damage was from a blender and fruit juices and that they only made soap once and tried to be careful. They evidently knew at the time they were causing damage. I have not known fruit juice damage the worktop but seems they knew they spilled juice and didn't wipe it up. 

I took a deposit. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the subject of references. I looked back at this persons employee reference. This reference is a word file and confirms this person's employment and right to work in the UK, and gives this person's address as co/ NHS trust address. But I could alter any part of it, It is written on NHS headed paper, I could even make changes to the header and there is a scanned in signature inserted. The letter is not dated. I don't doubt this person works where they say given the shifts they work and the uniform they wear. I did see the work permit and have a scanned copy. Do you think this person might have produced this letter themselves at work or just that someone careless in HR sent it out as a word document? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

It depends on each case, but if the person moves to the UK, they will probably stay longer and would not like to lose housing.
Most foreign individuals I rented the flat to were educated people who never lied to me and always left the property clean.
If you are in doubt, you can get insurance, and the insurance company will have to deal with all the income references, etc. It’s better if you don’t want to deal with it yourself. You can also address companies like Mortgage Broker Blackpool and ask them to help you evaluate the tenant's reliability before letting them live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...