Agents fail to conduct robust financial checks on tenants

Letting agents have been accused of failing to carry out sufficient financial checks on prospective tenants.

Tenant referencing and insurance operator Landlord Secure claims only 22 per cent of prospective renters were required to provide proof of sufficient funds in accounts linked to their rent; just 35 per cent were asked to provide evidence that they had an active bank account at all; some 52 per cent were asked to provide proof of ID.

The firm claims only 29 per cent of would-be tenants were asked to confirm they were in employment during the application process, while only a quarter had to provide a reference from a previous landlord to prove they paid rent on time.

“There is a misconception among landlords who rely on letting agents to carry out checks on tenants that the information they are getting gives an accurate and up-to-date reflection of a new tenant’s financial background” says a spokesman for the firm.

“The reality, however, is that agents rely far too heavily on information that is publicly available, like if an applicant has been subject to a county court judgement or been declared bankrupt. But this will not provide an accurate picture of an applicant’s current financial situation and more robust credit checks need to be made to give landlords the data they need to make informed decisions” he adds.

The survey involved 1,000 tenants and 1,000 landlords in the UK.


Written by: Houseladder