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Letting agencys reference check - what do they look at?

(5 Posts)
HumanBehaviour Tue 14-Jun-11 12:46:52

We are looking to rent a property and have been told we have to pa £140 each to have a reference check. This is non-refundable so will be lost if we fail it which makes me a bit worried as this is a lot of money for us.

So, what is included in a reference check, I'm guessing credit check, proof of income and a chat with our current letting agency?

I can think of two possible problems:

1: Credit check, I think my husband has got a four year old CCJ and I've got an unpaid credit card (no CCJ) of £1000 from 2008.

2: The property we are in now is VERY damp so we have made several complaints, I am a bit worried the current agency is going to say that we are awkward tenants because of this. Rent has always been paid in full on time though.

Will this make us fail the referencing?

nocake Tue 14-Jun-11 12:54:11

It is likely to include....
Credit history (up to 6 years) including CCJs and bankruptcies
Defaults and late payments on loans, credit cards etc
Income verification
Bank account verification
A search for defaults on previous rent payments

The CCJ will come up. Your credit card bill will only come up if you've failed to make any payments on it. They're unlikely to get a written reference from a previous agency because there are legal issues with doing this. The most they will get is a factual report on your payment history.

I can't tell you if this will cause you to fail the referencing. It might result in you being asked to pay a larger deposit.

HumanBehaviour Tue 14-Jun-11 13:05:35

Thanks for the information, nocake.

Surely, if I tell the letting agency about the CCJ and failed credit card payments they should be able to tell me if we will fail or not before they do the referencing?

maggiethecat Tue 14-Jun-11 13:40:11

I think some referencing agencies (eg Homelet) advise that you say upfront because it is more likely to be detrimental if you do not disclose and they find out later.

Sounds like your reference fee may also include a rent guarantee ie Landlord is guaranteed rent if you default. Ask the lettings agent if this is the case and find out if the landlord would consider waiving the need for guarantee if your references were clean. May be unlikely but worth asking.

HumanBehaviour Tue 14-Jun-11 13:50:36

But our references wont be clean so why would it be worth asking about that? Sorry if I'm being stupid but I don't understand what you mean.

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