Applicants Documents check

Continuing the discussion from Tenant Refuse to provide bank statements:

Hi, I’m new here no experience as an independent landlord, used to rely on high street estate agency and they just failed me. Just wondering at what stage that landlord should ask the potential tenants or applicant to provide their personal information, such as photo ID/ Passport, right to rent share code, bank statements, payslips, previous landlord address, contact, employer letter etc. I thought that I only can start after they putting down the holding deposit; am I right or wrong? also thought if use Openrent Reference service, all the checks above will be covered. Including the authentication of the photo ID/passport, right? Desperately need some information/advice here. Thanks!

You can request this information at the earliest stage of the application. At the viewing ideally although some landlords request it as a condition for offering a viewing to put off time wasters. You may receive several potential applicants for your property so having this information allows you to choose the best applicant to put forward for referencing. You don’t want to be wasting money referencing ‘no hopers.’ I would recommend doing the Landlord Fundamentals e-learning course provided by the NRLA as there’s other stuff you need to be aware of like GDPR.

Do not take a holding deposit till you have done all your checks otherwise if unsuitable you will have to refund.

I would just like to add that I would initially ask for photo ID, Right To Rent documentation and proof of income. Then if you decide to put them forward for referencing let the referencing agent deal with the credit reference, employer and landlord references.

After screening potential clients the ones I choose to allow to view are requested to bring such documentation with them. No documents no viewing its very simple. Once they have provided and if they are happy with the property and I am happy with them then I take a holding deposit and apply for referencing. Referencing only starts once holding deposit is received. They sign a disclaimer about referencing if referencing fails due to them trying to deceive me I retain the cost of the referencing (never had to yet) and return the rest. If they pull out after deposit is taken I keep it all (never had to).

Thanks for the information, which is very useful. I’ll definitely take the e-learn course for sure.

Hi Kate, how do you screening the applicants? Did you use the tenant screening option on Open Rent? When they bring the Photo ID, Right to Rent Code and The proof of income at viewing, how do you verify the authenticity of these documents? As the British Passport holders don’t need Right to Rent check, how to verify the passport is actually a real one?

Yes I turn screening on and add all my own questions. I have not yet had to deal with right to rent. I check passports and then copies of these are sent to referencing.

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