References for Tenant

Tenants moving out (hopefully) who haven’t been great. What would anyone advise please about giving references to any potential landlord? Don’t feel able to blatantly lie. Thank you.

I completely agree , to lie is pointless. One way or another the truth always comes out. It’s better to keep your integrity.

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How will I ever get rid of them though?
Will I just have to sit it out and wait for court repossession?

this is a dilemma for you and the main reason I take little notice of a landlords reference

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That is very true.
Suppose someone will take them, depends how hard they try to find somewhere else.

Just stipulate facts, like they rented from this date to this date and these were deductions from deposit etc

Specify payments received on time and late etc

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It doesn’t work like that in practice though - tenant gives notice - finds another place - needs a reference - new agent needs this reference a.s.a.p., before tenant has moved out and before you can check them out and see what damages may need to be deducted from deposit. I’ve always had to ‘hold back’ negativity because they haven’t moved out. Negativity could produce deliberate trashing of property. It’s a Catch 22 situation which usually works in favour of the departing tenant.


I’ve had deliberate damage in the past and apart from not being able to get rid of them that’s just as bad or worse.
But questions are usually a yes or a no answer. Although don’t think they would probably be as bad with someone else. They see me as a soft touch I believe.

Or maybe the open ended question of ‘any other information’ is worse?

If they are up to date with the rent say this. Just be positive. If they have totally trashed your property and owe you rent just say I will say that you are up to date with your rent after you pay what you owe. Just be glad that they are going. Just give them a typed letter. You have no obligation to lie on those thousand question reference requests that some people ask for.

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Ask yourself how you would feel if you accepted a tenant who’s references weren’t accurate and then turned out bad. We landlords need to look out for one another…


If they have paid on time and been reasonable on other issues just put this : -

" Paid rent on time, cannot comment on anything else until post check out inventory inspection"

I suggest you do a pre check out inspection to see what needs agreeing, charging or work to be done. That way you can do some of the repairs, or order any replacements before they leave and have the receipts ready vv the deposit return. Photograph any areas of concern, dispute or agreed actions and write back to them confirming this within a few days of the inspection.

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When called tell any good bits one or two possible issues. May be it was difficult for you to manage them, but not necessarily difficult for new one and keep them in place. Keep the contact number, once moved call them and tell your account and let new landlord be prepared and stay ahead of game. That is the best you can do. Covers your personal integrity, will have your house back.

A good reply as do think they would be better with someone else, especially a more experienced landlord who they don’t feel they can take advantage of. Perhaps another landlord wouldn’t be fazed by it.

You are a professional landlord that must to show integrity and be recognised as such. Be wary about giving a reference directly to the the tenant as a “to whom it may concern” reference. Get prospective landlords/agents to contact you directly. State “Private and confidential” and give basic facts in a reference, not opinions, eg period of tenancy, rent amount and if paid on time, care of property. It is what is NOT said that rings alarm bells. If they are problem tenants then serve formal Notice and get your property back. If it’s arrears follow up with a CCJ so even if you don’t get the money owed to you they have a big black mark to alert other landlords (and anyone else for that matter).


Hello Mr_T, I am so sorry to hear about your tenants, I hope they have left now, and you can get a few nice one. Can you claim the damage from their deposit or their insurance? Is this alright to reduce to write a reference to them? I am not an experienced landlord. I hope everything will be fine Mr_T

Thank you Sung.
Yes I will claim damage but they will resist. It’s so stressful. Have to go there next week on my own and it’s in a town where I don’t anyone so have no witness.
But I guess it will sort itself out. Hope your tenants turn out well!

Dear Mr_T,

This is so horrible, I wish I can help. Some tenants are nasty and take advantage of this situation. There will be karma to these mast people. I really hope you get through fine.

I hope for both of use that happy days are right at our doorstep.

Will you get any help form CAB?
I wish we can have a landlord union and we can support each other on horrible cases like this.

Big hug and I really hope everything will
Be fine

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Thank you. Yes karma is what we all need. We just want out, it’s not a good time for landlords. Have to be so careful. Let us all know how it progresses for you and hope someone can answer your question!

There may not be a union, but there is the NRLA - National Residential Landlords Association.

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