A recent article in Landlord Today magazine has warned private Landlords with respect to the way that they conduct referencing of their tenants. A nationwide Landlord insurance firm has said that basic tenant referencing checks may not be detailed enough to protect a landlord against the possibility of future arrears.
Total Landlord Insurance says that in September, 6.4% of tenants were found to have one or more County Court Judgements recorded at an undisclosed address.
While this information can show up in basic reference checks – which verifies that the tenant is who they say they are and highlights any background information about the tenant’s history – the firm says a far more alarming picture emerges from full referencing checks. Whilst many private Landlords use a simple written reference check from an employer or previous Landlord, and do not do any kind of credit referencing at all.
For example, in the first half of 2012, the firm found that 23% of self-employed applicants were unable to provide tax returns or acceptable proof of income and 51 applicants had provided false employment details.
Comprehensive checks conducted by Homelet referencing, the company used by Martin & Co Letting Agents in Yeovil and Sherborne will not only reveal this information but also obtain previous landlord and letting agent references where available.
Emma Higgins, Managing Director of Martin & Co said "we ensure that for every new tenancy, on behalf of our Landlords, we undertake scrupulous checking of the tenants to protect their investment and income streams.
The problem is the current economic climate, high unemployment and stagnant wages are making conditions particularly tough on those having to rent, with rental rates in many areas at peak levels, but it makes no business sense for a landlord to rely on an income from someone who is not financially stable."
Martin & Co prides itself on obtaining high quality, fully referenced tenants for their Landlords, whilst at the same time ensuring a high-quality agent service to their tenants once they have moved in to their new homes.
Emma said "if you want to rent a house or flat in Yeovil, Sherborne or anywhere in South Somerset and West Dorset, we aim to be the Letting Agent of choice for all those wanting an exemplary standard of service, with a smile".