Concerning new research suggests that landlords and letting agents in the UK are not carrying out sufficient checks on prospective tenants.
The report from Landlord Secure suggests that 75% of new tenants were not asked to provide proof of their income. In addition, just 22% were required to give proof of funds through bank statements for accounts linked to their rent.
Just 35% of tenants were asked to provide evidence that they had an active bank account and only 52% were asked to provide proof of identity!
What’s more, the report discovered that only 29% of would-be renters were asked to confirm their employment during the application process. Only one-quarter had to provide a reference from a previous landlord proving that they had paid their rent on time.
The findings of the report come at the same time as Parliament is to debate whether or not would-be tenants’ rental payment history should be included as part of their credit check process.
Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Landlord Secure, noted that the findings in the report represent a worryingly true representation of the current lettings market. He feels that more needs to be done in order to help landlords and tenants during the application process.
He explained: ‘There is a misconception among landlords who rely on letting agents to carry out checks on tenants that the information they are getting gives an accurate and up to date reflection of a new tenant’s financial background. The reality, however, is that agents rely far too heavily on information that is publicly available, like if an applicant has been subject to a county court judgement or been declared bankrupt. But this will not provide an accurate picture of an applicant’s current financial situation and more robust credit checks need to be made to give landlords the data they need to make informed decisions.’
‘It is more surprising and worrying however to find that some applicants are not even being asked to show proof of identity or income as this should be standard information on every application for a rental property.’