Tenant left owing rent despite passing credit checks

I had a tenant move into my property in April this year after passing the OpenRent credit check. He paid the first two months rent but then nothing after that. He moved out yesterday and left lots of mail in the bin. From this I have discovered he is around £30,000 in debt and some of this was before he rented my property. I now have no confidence in the results of this credit check! He has paid no utilities or council tax and there are several letters from bailiffs trying to collect on many other debts too. It would be great if there was some way of alerting other landlords to people like this so it doesn’t happen to anyone else!


we need a rogue tenant database. Now if you take him to court and judgement is against him that will alert other landlords

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Yes, I know I stand very little chance of ever seeing my rent given his history but there would at least be another CCJ on his record. Why did his previous records not show up on the credit check though OpenRent?

There could not have been a ccj before then? Next time try Experian as a credit check costs £30 . Might be better. I would ask Openrent that question for Monday

Thanks Colin. I’ll use them next time.

Hi Kath and Colin
I have a tenant in one of my 2 bed cottages, she was working full time and also part time bar maid. When she came to view she told me straight away that she had a CCJ to her name, she had received for a parking ticket she had in London. She had moved addresses and the post had not been forwarded and by the time she had known about it it was to late. This girl has been one of the best tenants we have ever had, I can handle people that up front its the devious ones that get up my nose.

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there has been “rogue lists” for years!


asley3 Being upfront and explaining a CCJ is good. I had a guy apply for a place and he did not declare a CCj Experian found it, it was for a 20% of his annual income. Clearly no intention of paying .Needless to say he did not get my place

David7 Landlords have got to have the gut to put a bad tenant on it

Can anyone help on how to apply online for a CCJ when the tenant has deserted the property without a forwarding address? If I serve it on my rental property address it won’t get to him but will it at least be on his credit records?

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if you are in the NLA they will have the answer. If they have left whilst still under a tenant agreement with you they are still liable for council tax. Dont you pay it .Let the council get them.

I agree with Colin there should be not rogue tenants list but also National tenants list and record to check there history too.

All tenants has to register of the tenants list and agreed to to put there previous all address/ landlord contact details where there have been living for last 10yrs. Also when tenants leave the owner should put there feedback landlords reference in there.

Just like NLA to prove they are good professional tenants because I have been dealing that educated professional crook tenants in my life but one of them is was profession and gave a talk to conservative conference party, lived in my place for 4yrs but did not pay a last a few months rent and ruined my flat.
Also all debt recovery letters are still coming and even Bow Magistrate court letter.

Other one graduated from Edinburgh university did similar but worse took a loan on property and even cheated his business partner and left UK

I’m finding that openrents referencing and credit check flawed as I have a very good credit rating from Expedia and was told I failed even tho I am self employed/employed and could provide proof of income it needs to be overhauled and umore clearer and easier for self employed workers to understand sorry open rent does have its flaws

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If my memory serves right the tenants name is Mr. Matthew Lloyd Travis? If so, you are not the first one being conned, he has list of conviction doing this and unfortunately no action taken so far against him.

Do let me know if the tenant is as named above, I will guide you accordingly.


Gary7 I have been self employed for 50 yrs .Have accounts every year. I am a Landlord .If you showed me accounts for three years and they, every year , were 4 times the rent I would have no problem with that

Mass tenant referencing services rarely work.Landlords pay little money for there use .The referee just doesn’t have the required income to spend hours on each applicant .M A R A S might spend 5/20 minutes.
When i use these types of services through m a r a s or many others , since 1972 , i then take the passed reference that might have cost me £20- in today’s sums & straight away do my own separate tougher checks not just on the applicant but any-one planning to walk over the front door threshold.
For instance for the last 25 years Many particularly south London middle aged male applicants are operating an benefits scam with ex partners /children & new partners over 3 or 4 dwellings mine being 1 of them. The sames occuring in hastings derby & the home counties.(see 1 parent family legislation)
They cant get through me though. Benefits claw-back laws allow the councils to sue innocent landlords even if landlords didn’t know that the applicant had both lied on the benefits , and application form up to 10 years prior to approaching the new landlord.
99% of the older landlords like me have lost in some cases £100000 through such claw-back laws.
It might take an extra day to properly reference but its worth it , if the dwellings worth say £500000, and the claw-back bill for slapstick referencing could be a loss of £100000 for instance.
100 enquiries ends up with 5 passes , but with such high freehold values im prepared to suffer the extra work.
I cut down on referencing though by doing deep/deep screening prior to referencing and travelling to meet the applicants.Screening like i do cuts 100 enquiries down to 10. After that the proper referencing starts.
Labour Plans to force UK property prices down by an huge margin by legislating that the type of people that you describe can have an right to buy the dwelling at an knockdown price probably less than the price the younger landlords might have paid for the property.
We called this type of legislation the politics of envy when labour did the same in 1974 under Harold Wilson , then resulting in an 50% nose dive in house values throughout the uk.
The result by 1979 was that 99% of landlords stopped letting there dwellings preferring vacant houses .That way sitting tenants didn’t occurs in there portfolios cutting values by 50%. Maggie solved the problem over night by stripping councils of there power & bringing in the ASTA in 1988.
See Wikipedia .
regards. Younger landlords beware , if your equity is less than say 70% , then your in line for an nasty surprise ruining your pension plans once labour win power and crucifies the private landlord business . This will more or less ruin 2500000 landlords with 3 to 20 dwellings, and 10m tenants will equally suffer an housing shortage. Thats what happened in 1974 to 1979/80 under the same labour bonkers jealousy rules.



Sure so there are two things to keep in mind here.

Firstly, what OpenRent referencing is. If you order referencing via OpenRent, then we use a referencing company, usually Rentguard, to run the checks. They will get the credit info from Equifax, one of the few major credit bureaus that exists in the UK, just like every other referencing services. So the info you get via OpenRent is directly from the major credit bureaus. Checking via Experian will be no different in this regard. Rentguard then gather additional info, like employer references, previous landlord references and the affordability check.

Secondly, about what referencing is in general. We always tell landlords that referencing should just be one tool used to decide whether to proceed with tenants. The result — a pass or fail — should not be interpreted as an infallible prediction on whether the tenant will always pay the rent, or never cause complaints from neighbours, etc.

The pass/fail result from referencing companies is actually a decision about whether the referencing provider is willing to insure the rental income given the information it has about the tenant. That is similar, but crucially different, to a prediction about whether the tenant will be a good tenant. That is why OpenRent always encourages landlords to meet tenants, have a direct relationship with them, and take all things into account, not just the pass/fail result of their referencing.

@Kath2 just to keep you updated, we’re following up with our the company that ran the checks you ordered to see if anything went wrong.

With @Kath2’s case, it’s hard to speculate without more details, but it’s possible that despite debts, there was no CCJ yet, or that it was linked to an address and name different to the one given for the reference, or that there was a CCJ, but it was paid within the period required for it to be removed from the record. There are many moving pieces, and this is a weakness of referencing checks in general, not OpenRent’s particular referencing services.

Hope that helps answer some of the Qs in this thread!

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Thank you for the information provided much appreciated

Do you not take out the rentguard insurance. It costs 90.00 per year but covers loss of rent and damage. They also do all the legal stuff. When you consider the income on the property it is well worth it.


Quick update - The credit checking company Homeppl have been in touch with me and there was no bad credit record for this tenant at his previous address. They had references from his previous landlord and employer too which they say checked out. He must have been very good at evading everyone he owed money to until he registered everything at my property! Hopefully they will track him down again soon. I just can’t believe how easy it was for him to get more and more credit when he was already in debt!
It just shows that a good credit check doesn’t necessarily show that you will have a a good tenant. We’ve been very lucky having such good tenants up to this point so I think I’ll have to submit a court claim so he hopefully won’t be able to do this to anyone again. Thanks to everyone for their help.