It is critical that you verify the suitability of your tenants by speaking to them directly, following up on their references, and assessing if the documentation they’ve provided is valid. This is a time-consuming and often complex process that can be difficult for many landlords to take on in addition to their other responsibilities. However, it is highly worthwhile to ensure that you find the perfect tenant and can be made significantly easier with the help of a professional letting agent.

Verify documentation

Employment and income status

In addition to a reference from an employer, your tenant will need to provide documentation that verifies their employment. This will include at least three or as many as six months of payslips as well as other required documentation. A letting agent can get these documents from a potential tenant and assess if they are accurate. If the tenant is self-employed your agent can gather tax returns and supporting documents as proof of earnings to verify their income. This will help ensure you have a tenant who can reliably meet their monthly rent obligation.

Right to rent

A letting agent can also verify that your tenants all have the right to rent in the UK. Right to rent can be determined by a number of different documents. If they are a citizen or current resident of the UK, we will verify that these documents are accurate and up to date. If the tenant is moving from abroad the situation is a little more complicated. However, a qualified letting agent can acquire the correct documents and run the necessary government checks to verify their right to rent. You should never let your property to anyone who doesn’t have the right to rent clearly verified.

Credit checks

Completing a credit check on a potential tenant is an excellent way to verify if they can meet their monthly rent obligation. Please note that a credit check can only be conducted with a candidate’s express permission, but an agent would not consider an applicant who is not agreeable to a credit check. An experienced professional can conduct a check and review information from the electoral roll, the Individual Insolvency Register, County Court Judgements (CCJs), and the Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines. They’ll look for any history of insolvency or CCJs related to owed money which can indicate financial irresponsibility.

Follow up on references

When your prospective tenants give their previous landlord as a referee, make sure that you always verify what they’ve said and that everything is in order. Additionally, following up with landlords will give you greater insight into the candidate so you can identify if they’re the right fit for you. If you find that the prospect of interviewing referees for multiple potential tenants overwhelming, not to worry, an experienced letting agent can take care of this process for you. They’ll be able to identify good qualities and potential red flags more easily and can quickly identify the best candidates for you.

Who did they live with previously?

Understanding how your tenant handles interpersonal relationships is important for house-shares, neighbours, and your own relationship. It is important to learn who they previously lived with and why they do not live together anymore. Were there other people listed on their previous tenancy agreement and were these properly cleared with their previous landlord? It is not unheard of – as a worst-case scenario – for some tenants to illegally sublet. Asking the right questions can identify if this is the case and they can be disqualified as early as possible in the process.

How did they conduct themselves during the tenancy?

You should want to know how your potential tenants behaved at their previous addresses. Did they pay the rent on time? Were they respectful towards their landlord and neighbours? Did they leave the property in good condition? Knowing the right questions to ask referees to get the answers you need is a skill honed over many years in the industry. It can also be a lengthy process to ensure you get all the answers you need. A letting agent will know just what to ask referees, have the time to ask, and can quickly collate the answers to create a strong impression of each candidate.

Getting to grips with tenant references and interviewing their referees can be a stressful and difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be. With dedicated services from Pure Lettings this can all be taken care of for you. We’ll assess the candidates, follow up with their references, and take your requirements into account to find the best tenants for your property. To find out how we can help you find the right tenant, give us a call on 01609 400100 or email us at