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Which Tenant References are Reliable and Useful for Landlords?

estate agents leicester

Are you looking to advertise your rented property to tenants for the first time, or are you looking to reach out to new potential prospects? If so, you’ll need to ensure that tenants have relevant and correct references before you go ahead with anything. This is a crucial process that can be almost too easy to forget about when signing up new tenants. 

It can be all-too-tempting to take on the first tenants that show interest in your property, without first performing the necessary processes. This is especially common with first-time landlords who are eager to start seeing some monthly revenue from their property or have no prior experience in interviewing tenants. However, you need to be a little more cautious when taking on new tenants.

For both your sakes and to keep in line with the local law, you’ll need to ensure that your tenants can provide reliable and useful tenant references. This will ensure that you are accepting tenants with a genuine interest in renting your property and treating it well during their time.

If you aren’t sure about tenant references and you need some more information, Open House are here to help. With years of experience in the rental industry, we can inform landlords on some of the most reliable and useful tenant references to ask for and look out for when advertising their properties. 

What are Tenant References?

Private landlords and estate agents in Leicester need to think about two things: whether their tenants are able to pay their rent every month and if they are suitable for the property. To be able to do this, they can request tenant references from potential renters.

Similar to the kind of references you’d ask for at a job interview, tenant references refer to a series of checks into the tenant’s backgrounds. These checks include tenant providing some of their personal details to private landlords to prove their reliability and identity.

Without these references, landlords may have the right to decline potential tenants. This also applies to tenant references that highlight any issues with the potential tenants, such as failure to pay rent on multiple occasions or a history of bad relationships with previous landlords. 

What are the Essential Tenant References?

Before you ask potential tenants for their references in their tenant interviews, its first important to know the essential tenant references to be looking out for. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the essential tenant references you should be asking to see. The top 5 references are:

  • Credit checks – this will provide both private landlords and estate agents in Leicester with detailed information about the tenant’s credit profile. You’ll need to look out for certain things such as poor credit history, court judgements, bankruptcies and unresolved debts. 
  • Income reference – this reference will give you a clear idea of the tenant’s income and if they will be able to afford with the upkeep of monthly rental fees. In this reference, you will be able to see details of their employment as well as a character reference from their current employer. 
  • Landlord reference – perhaps the most insightful reference is the landlord reference. This refers to a reference given by the tenants previous landlord, outlining their suitability as a tenant. You’ll be able to see if they paid rent consistently and if the property was left in good condition after their rental period ended. 
  • Proof of identity and right to rent – landlords and estate agents in Leicester will need to see information such as photo ID including driving licences and passports. To see if a tenant has the right to rent, you may also need to ask to see their immigration documents.
  • Guarantors – if, as a private landlord, you have any concerns about your tenant meeting payment deadlines but they seem like a great tenant, you can ask them to find a guarantor. This is someone who will agree to pay the rent or cover damage to the property if the tenant cannot pay. 

Why are They so Important

With the demand for rented accommodation showing no sign of slowing down, it’s important that landlords and estate agents in Leicester are following proper procedures. If you do not carry out a tenant interview and ask for tenant references, you could be faced with a problem tenant that will cause you ongoing issues.

If you ensure you check your tenant’s references before going ahead, you can create a positive and seamless landlord-tenant relationship from the get-go. This will make both your lives easier and may even result in tenant returning to you again and again, ultimately increasing your revenue. 

Failure to undertake a Right to Rent interview with a tenant may result in a fine or even a jail term so it’s important that you conduct these interviews thoroughly and check through all your tenant’s references.

Make sure you interview every kind of tenant that shows interest in your rental property. All adult tenants aged 18 or over must be named on the tenancy agreement and if they are contributing to a share of the rent, they must also go through the same checks and referencing process.  

Contact us for More Information Today

Are you still unsure about tenant references or how to successfully let your property in the Leicester area? If so, get in touch with us today. Open House are leading estate agents in Leicester with years of experience in the letting market.

We can advise landlords on the proper process for letting out their rental property, including the process for tenant referencing, to ensure they have a seamless landlord experience from start to finish. 

Importance of Valuations on your Leicester Property

Is This The End of Estate Agent Boards in Leicester?

Leicester City Council

Leicester City Council are still discussing the possibility of stopping landlords putting up property boards in certain parts of the city.

Last year, the council successfully applied to the Government for a Regulation 7 direction which will effectively ban the use of ‘To Let’ boards in some areas around the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. The conversation continues for other student populated areas.

What Does This Mean For Estate Agents?

This means that both landlords and estate agents will need to apply for planning consent in order to put up signs advertising their properties in certain areas of the city.  This regulation affects some heavily student populated areas such as Windermere, Hazel, Clarendon Park, Greenhill, West End, Ashleigh Road and West End.

“We know that people who live close to the universities are concerned about the almost permanent proliferation of ‘To Let’ boards on their streets.” Cllr Piara Singh Clair, Deputy City Mayor and lead on regulatory services.

What If I Put Up A Board Anyway?

If landlords or estate agents fail to comply with the local regulation, they could face action in court and be fined up to £2,500. If they continue to break the rules, they can receive daily fines of £250.

This means the council are poised to make a lot of money between as this tighter regulation comes into force and more properties come onto the market for student tenants to occupy.

Why Has This Regulation Come Into Play?

The Deputy City Mayor and Leicester Council have agreed that the advertising boards create an eyesore in areas with high concentration of properties. The Council said they are intrusive and often misleading, serving as little more than advertisements for the letting agents themselves.

How Long Will This Last?

The new regulation will last for five years, before being reviewed again by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

Where Else Has Been Affected By To Let Sign

Not surprisingly, this issue isn’t just in Leicester. Cities across the UK are experiencing the same issues and regulation conversations. A London council is also considering a borough-wide ban on agent and landlords boards of all kinds. The ban is currently in place on specific London roads, but it is now planning to widen the scope of the ban.

“Estate Agent boards continue to be one of the most common complains made to Camden’s Planning Enforcement Team.” London Council Statement.

Tighter controls over the display of estate boards is taking up the Councils valuable time and resource.  Some landlords and estate agents continue to rebel, with one local reporting over For Sale/Sold/To Let/Let By boards on one small block of apartments. The local claimed they had been there for years without being removed and this block is just 200 yards away from Erewash Borough Council’s offices. This poses the question as to how seriously they are taking this ban.

This new regulation has obviously caused controversy and conversation across the UK amongst landlords and estate agents. In order to comply with the local government action, they must simply gain planning consent to display any boards. The more rebellious behaviour the government see, the tighter the control will become.

“More and more local authorities are going down this route because it’s easy and makes them popular with their council tax payers. We’ve only ourselves to blame for not obeying the board legislation. At this rate estate agents boards will be an endangered species in 10 years’ time.” Leicester Local Landlord.

What Are The Exact Rules?

Only one residential lettings ‘To Let’ board per building will be permitted.

Each board shall have a white background and will conform to the following layout: 34cm x 48cm or 48cm x 34cm.

One company logo per board will be permitted providing that the logo does not exceed one third of the overall size of the advertising board.

Boards marked with ‘Let by’, ‘Let’, ‘More Wanted’ or similar wording are prohibited.

No more than one board shall be permitted per landlord/agent per street.

  1. a) Boards shall be mounted flush to the wall above/around the front door, or if that is not possible, flush to the wall on the street frontage elevation. In either instance, no part of a board shall be higher than first-floor window sill level;
  2. b) alternatively, boards shall be displayed internally in a ground floor window facing the street frontage, but not in addition to a board displayed externally.

Boards shall only be allowed on properties immediately available

‘To Let,’ unless they are for the following academic year, when they shall not be put up until 1st January of that year.

Letting boards shall be removed not later than 14 days after the granting of a tenancy for the room, house or flat to which it relates.

No ‘To Let’ boards shall be displayed between 1st October to 31st December inclusive.

How Will People See My Property Without A Board?

Leicester Estate Agents are predominantly taking advantage of the online market. With over 93% of properties found online, it would be silly not to take hold of this traffic. Whether you are selling your Leicester property or renting, you need to advertise it on the right platforms.

Open House Estate Agents Leicester are registered with a range of the top platforms such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Google and more. If your thinking of putting your property up on the market, get a free house valuation today and get the latest sales and rental tips. Or call us now on 0116 243 7938 for friendly expert help and find out how you can get your Leicester property ready for 2019.