Don’t miss out on securing the keys to a perfect rental property. Click here to learn more about providing acceptable references
Whether you’re looking for a house suitable for raising a family, a city centre crash pad or are setting up home on your own for the first time, finding a good – and affordable – rental property can be hard work.
The law requires landlords and letting agents ensure anybody renting a property in the UK has a legal right to be here, says award-winning estate and letting agent Paramount Properties. Not only that, your landlord has a considerable sum of money tied up in their buy-to-let investment and needs to be sure you can pay the rent and are responsible enough not to trash the place.
Don’t let the weeks or months hunting for a perfect rental home go to waste by failing to provide an acceptable reference. You should expect information relevant to your suitability as a tenant, such as your income, your identity and your credit history, will undergo independent verification before you take possession of the rental property’s keys.
Here are 6 pieces of advice from estate and letting agents to help you sail through the referencing process.
1 Seek Out a Potential Guarantor
Referencing is about proving your circumstances meet the tenancy’s requirements. If your income won’t be enough to cover the rent (and leave you with enough money to pay the utility bills and put food on the table) or you’re on the wrong type of contract at work, then it’s better to be aware of this right away and seek a guarantor before the issue becomes a problem.
2. Be available
Estate agent Williams Lynch, which manages properties in the London Bridge, says it is quite common to request extra information from would-be tenants. This could be because they’ve failed to fill in the tenancy application form correctly, their handwriting is illegible or a referee is difficult to get hold of.
Try to keep yourself as available as possible throughout the day and early evening. If you see a phone call from an unknown number, don’t ignore it. And remember to check your voicemails, email inbox and junk mail folder at least once a day.
3 Tip off your referees
Don’t just give the first person you think of as a referee. Ask the potential referee if they’re happy to do it first. Also, make sure they’re in a position to speak up for you. This is not only common courtesy, but it gives them a heads up for when the time comes, which should speed up the process.
4 Don’t rely on Snail Mail
When providing your referees’ contact details, remember to provide their email address and mobile number. This will speed up the referencing process and could mean you move into the rental property quicker.
Central London property business Plaza Estates says its lettings managers rely on electronic forms of communication to speed up the referencing process. “It is very rare to receive a reference through the postal service,” a spokesman says.
5 Check which forms of ID are Acceptable
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve rented in the past; every agency and contract is different. Don’t rely on your past experiences to inform you of your current situation. Your previous agency may have been happy with an old bank statement as a form of ID while the current one may require a statement that is dated within three months. Check the criteria for each kind of ID before handing it over.
6 Don’t leave it until the Last Minute
If you’ve got a deadline for when you need to move in, ensure you allow yourself an adequate amount of time. If you leave it until the last minute, you may find delays could occur which put back your moving date.