Credit checks overseas applicants

I have a prospective tenant who is brand new to the UK (from the EU). I asked Open Rent if credit & reference checks can still be processed. Answer:
“Our referencing process is set up to handle a wide range of circumstances including not being resident in the UK. As such we can reference tenants regardless of their circumstances.”
The report came back without any credit checks, so I asked Rent Guard (used by Open Rent) directly why that was.
“Unfortunately we can’t run credit checks via the credit bureau on overseas addresses.”

The credit checks have therefore been a waste of my time and the prospective tenant’s time. Open Rent seems to be closed for overseas residents, which is wrong.

Does anyone have a better experience?

As they have no U.K. records - you are unlikely to find a system that captures the information and potential protections you need. Meeting the tenants and getting assurances from a parent etc. (Although non legally binding) is the best you can get…

Hi Alison,

Our referencing partners can reference overseas tenants - there’s no issue with this, although the applicants do need to have been resident in the UK for at least 6 months for a credit search to be carried out as part of the reference - apologies if this wasn’t clear!

This doesn’t have an impact into how Rentguard reference non-UK based tenants, rest assured - further guidance on what referencing involves can be found here.

While overseas income can be included in the reference for your own info, only UK income counts towards the affordability ratio used to judge a pass/fail on the reference. We provide more information here:

Worth noting that all of the above applies to tenants rather than guarantors, who do need to be UK-based in order to engage in the Rent Now process (and/or referencing).

Any questions on referencing or any other area, just let me know.


I am moving to the UK from Germany. Can I offer a landlord my Schufa information, which is Germany’s version of a credit score ? I believe the way it’s calculated and the numbers are different from the uk so not sure if they will be able to understand it? Can open rent help with this ?

I doubt Openrent will be able to help since they don’t directly do the referencing, although it might be worth asking Rentguard directly. Otherwise, yes I would advise you to directly approach the landlord of your interested properties and explain your situation, perhaps offer to show proof of income and employment.

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