Are you moving rental properties? If so, you’ve got competition! Demand from tenants reached a five-year high during the last quarter of 2020 – sitting at their highest levels since early 2016 and rising 29% when compared to the third quarter of last year.
Performing your own tenant ‘health check’ before you start looking for a new property to rent, will help you secure the rental – allowing you to present yourself as an irresistible prospect and fending off any competition. As well as a refresher of what tenant referencing entails, these 8 tips will help you get in the best tenant shape possible:-
What is tenant referencing?
Tenant referencing – carried out either by a letting agent or landlord – is an assessment exercise that happens before a tenancy agreement is signed. Research is conducted on matters such as financial health, employment status, eligibility to reside in the UK and past tenant behaviour. The results will help the landlord and letting agent decide whether the tenant is suitable for the let.
Give yourself the best chance of rental success
- Be mindful about actions: if you have been a tenant in the past, the referencing process will probably involve contacting your previous landlord for details of how the tenancy went. Being reliable and respectful will always work in a tenant’s favour, as a history of late or skipped rental payments, damage to the property or anti-social behaviour will not reflect well.
- Be honest and open: we do appreciate that a tenant’s circumstances can change for the better, so if you’re worried a landlord may uncover anything during the referencing stage, it’s better to come clean about it at this stage rather than it come as an unpleasant shock.
- Find out & improve your credit score: a credit score is a trusted reflection of financial health – any blip will be a warning sign to landlords that a prospective tenant may struggle to afford the rent. Tenants can find out their credit score by running a check with www.experian.co.uk or www.equifax.co.uk. Ask us about ways to improve and repair your credit score.
- Nominate a guarantor: if there are any past issues concerning rent payments, it can be helpful to line up a guarantor for a new tenancy – someone committed to stepping in and meeting the tenant’s obligations, therefore giving a landlord reassurance. It is worth remembering, however, that any nominated guarantor must also pass the full referencing process.
- Be decisive, willing & prompt: every landlord wants to avoid an empty property so the aim will be to move in the best tenant in the quickest time frame. Get a head start on renting rivals by showing willingness, returning all paperwork – filled out correctly and signed – as quickly as possible and making yourself available to move in as soon as you can.
- Have all your paperwork ready: part of being prompt is having crucial documents to hand. This includes photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence, wage slips or SA302 calculations for the self employed, bank statements, proof of a deposit and valid documentation to support Right to Rent checks.
- Warn referees they’ll be contacted: if you are putting forward the name and contact details of someone to act as a referee, give them advance notice so they don’t ignore the call, email or letter. No response from a referee is often interpreted as negative feedback.
- Be careful with social media: although not as well-respected or extensively used as traditional referencing, some landlords will use social media to screen potential tenants. It’s worth editing all of your accounts to ensure nothing that may trip you up has made it onto your feeds.
If you’re a first-time tenant or would like help finding your next rental property, please contact us for guidance and a list of available properties.
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