Reference Checks when renting
Before you can rent a property you’II need to provide information and documents to show you’II be a good tenant.
You will also have to show you and any other adults that will be living with you have the ‘right to rent’ in the UK.
Having your documents ready can help you rent more quickly.
Get your landlord’s or letting agent’s name and contact details before you give them your documents.
- your current landlord and previous landlords if you’re renting from a letting agent
- your employer – to show you have a job and it will continue
- credit check – to show your affordability
Getting a guarantor
You might be asked to provide a guarantor, for example if you haven’t rented before. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you don’t – you could ask your parents or someone else in your family to do this.
If you can’t give a reference
You might still be able to rent, even if you can’t get a reference.
Explain to your landlord or letting agent why you’re not able to get a reference. If you paid rent on time in the past, show them your tenancy agreement and rent book or bank statements to prove this.
You could also ask for a ‘character reference’ – a letter from an employer or someone who knows you well, to show that you’re reliable.
Your letting agent and some landlords will do a credit check to see if you’ve had problems paying bills in the past. They must get your permission first.
It’s less common for private landlords to do credit checks because they can make it take longer to rent out a property.
If you’ve got a bad credit history, it’s best to be honest and explain the situation. If you’re renting through a letting agent, do this before you give them any money – if you fail a credit check, you might not get your money back.
Your landlord or letting agent shouldn’t force you to pay a fee for a credit check. If they do you can report them to Trading Standards.
If you fail a credit check, explain why you think this might have happened. If you know you can pay the rent, tell your landlord or letting agent. They might still rent to you if you offer to pay a larger deposit, more rent in advance or if you can get a guarantor.