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Tenant Referencing - what you need to consider

Wed 05 Apr 2017

If you are looking to rent a property, then check out our guide … 

Here, Brown & Cockerill Letting Manager Andrew Bewick explains the various checks that are done when submitting a letting application and as a prospective tenant, what you should consider.



Calculate how much rent you can afford. A general guide is that your income needs to be 30 times the rent (i.e. Rent £500 – Income £15,000). 35% of your income is the most many people can afford, but you also need to consider other outgoings, such as household bills, childcare etc.


You will require a Guarantor if:

(a)   You have a low income.

(b)   You are on housing benefit.

(c)   You have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or low credit score.

Your Guarantor should preferably be in full time employment with an income of 36 times the rent.

CCJs and Credit Rating

If you have CCJs you must declare this upon application or during referencing. If you do not declare this information your reference could fail. If you think you may have a bad credit rating, check your credit score. This can be done online using a website such as Equifax, Experian or Clearscore.

References and Fees 

The three references required by a tenant are; employer, landlord (if already renting), and a credit check.

These are often carried out by an appointed referencing agency of the Landlord/Agent.

  1. Employer reference: a written statement confirming that a prospective tenant is in employment, with basic details such as job title and salary.
  2. Landlord reference: a letter a tenant can use as proof of good tenancy when trying to rent a different property. The statement includes details such as the period of tenancy, the tenant’s legal name, rent paid and whether payments were on time, and information about any complaints or disputes concerning the tenant.
  3. Credit check: a report detailing a prospective tenant’s credit history. A landlord or letting agent must have the tenant’s permission before carrying out a credit check.

Right to Rent Checks

Prospective tenants must undergo Right to Rent checks to ensure they have a right to rent in the UK. You will be required to confirm your identity (with photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence) for immigration and money laundering purposes and also confirm your current address with either a utility bill or a bank statement. For more information on the documentation required for Right to Rent checks, visit


If a landlord accepts pets, it is worth bearing in mind that an extra bond may be required before you can rent the property. 

If you are looking to let your home or are searching for a property to rent, please contact Brown & Cockerill’s Lettings team on 01788 551111 (option 2). 

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