Accurate tenant referencing and landlord communication is the way forward
With the impending welfare reform via Universal Credit, legislation to tackle illegal immigration, more landlord Licensing schemes being implemented and stories such as Landlord Fergus Wilson’s recently hitting the headlines; landlords and letting agents need to realise the severe implications if they continue to go about their business without the means of accurate and thorough tenant vetting tools.
Universal Credit | Changes to the UK benefits system via Universal Credit will mean that housing benefit will be included in the total “Universal Credit” payment which will be paid directly to the claimant. Therefore, PRS Landlords and Housing Associations have predicted an increase in rent arrears that could damage their ability to borrow from lenders at favourable rates.
Tenants on benefits | Fergus Wilson sent 200 eviction notices to his tenants on benefits due to a massive increase in rent arrears and being unable to obtain RGI (rent guarantee insurance) to cover them ; Landlord with 1,000 homes evicts tenants on benefits and say Eastern Europeans are better tenants – click here to read in full.
Q. How can a landlord find out if an applicant tenant has fallen into rent arrears via a previous tenancy? A. BY USING LIFESTYLE REFERENCING.
Immigration Bill | 1.4 million private landlords could be required to check the immigration status of their tenants, to prevent those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing.
Q. How can a landlord find out if an applicant tenant has the right to reside in the UK? A. BY USING LIFESTYLE REFERENCING.
Selective / Additional Licensing | Licensing schemes are already starting to increase costs for good landlords and good tenants, as well as reducing property values within these areas.
Q. How can a landlord reduce anti-social behaviour and crime within the area that their property is situated which, in-turn, will improve property values in that area? A. BY USING LIFESTYLE REFERENCING.
When a landlord or agent takes out a reference they are referencing with the tenant(s) bank(s) to see if the person can afford to reside at the property and whether they have had any County Court judgements, as well as a reference from an employer and a previous landlord.
If a tenant is “good” then they will provide a landlord with all of the relevant information in order to obtain a good reference.
But what about the “bad” tenants who are trying to hide their previous rental history? How can a true reference be obtained against fraudulent details?
Furthermore, how does a landlord know whether the employers and/or previous landlords details are genuine – and not the tenants mother/father/relative/friend/etc?
Credit Referencing cannot reveal the tenant’s true rental history or character. And this is why robust consumer data via Equifax, the leading consumer insights expert, enhances real-time vetting via Lifestyle Referencing to reduce the risks of fraud further.
How long have landlords been referencing for? 50 years? 100 years? WHO KNOWS. What we do know is that every single one has either taken a bad tenant on or knows someone that has had a bad tenant. Those that have not yet experienced a bad tenant has nothing to do with using accurate tenant referencing but simply because they have been lucky. As the LRS saying goes “Being a landlord is like playing Russian Roulette ; if you haven’t had a bad tenant then the bullet is still in the chamber.”
Via Lifestyle Network Referencing LRS wants to remove all of the bullets from all of the chambers – but this can only be done by communicating properly with each other through the concept of “Real-Time” tenant referencing.
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