A new report has accused letting agents of failing to carry out substantial financial checks on would-be tenants.
Tenant referencing and insurance operator Landlord Secure suggests that only 22% of prospective renters were required to give proof of sufficient funds in accounts linked to their rent. This was based on results of a survey of 1,000 tenants and 1,000 UK landlords.
Only 35% were asked to provide evidence that they had an active bank account, with 52% being asked to provide a form of identification.
Landlord Secure claims that just 29% of prospective tenants were asked to confirm that they were in employment during the application process. Just one-quarter were asked to give a reference from a previous landlord in order to give proof of their rental payments.
A spokesman for the firm noted: ‘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.’