Why do landlords sometimes ask about your connection to the area?

I’ve never been able to work this one out. Do they want to know whether you’ve got roots set down there? (Why) is it seen as a bad thing if not?

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Tenants that move around often do it because they are escaping circumstances and are not keen on references. I can understand if someone moves because of employment.
I don’t get if you are benefits why you can afford to move around the country and put 6 months rent upfront but you can’t provide a reference ( did you not pay the last chap so you could set up house with your rent arrears). I have presumed it is a method of reference shirking

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@A_A I may be misunderstanding something here, but why would you assume that moving for reasons other than a change in employment means the tenant is trying to avoid references? Surely a reference - required for most tenancy applications in my experience - is still valid wherever the tenant is moving to/from?

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If someone is providing references and is transparent I have no issue at all.
It’s the lack of references and moving that I question

@A_A Thanks. Helpful to know, as a prospective tenant looking outside (as well as inside) of the area I currently live in.

I don’t ask the question myself but it could also to see whether you’re likely to stay for a long time. We, landlords, like long-term tenants.


@Per That makes sense, of course. Thanks for adding another perspective.

Seems a reasonable request to me. If they live in another town miles away its likely if they have a job that they wont have for long. If they already live and work in the area and better still have family in the area they will be good for referencing. Thats my take on it anyway.


That’s quite assumptive

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There isn’t one answer to this and it may depend on what other information about the prospective tenant the landlord seeks to verify or corroborate before investing in referencing.
Some landlords don’t just want a tenant who can pay, but are looking for a good fit which in turn is good business.
A tenant who is already connected to the area through family, friends or steady employment may seem more likely to be a good long term bet IF that is what the landlord is looking for. A tenant moving from another local authority might have a back story to consider or they might simply be probing whether the tenant has a Right to Rent prior to more robust checks.
A landlord who isn’t asking this question may be happy with different types of tenant so I would assume they are just trying to ‘fill the gaps’ with more extensive questioning as with so many applicants landlords need to find a way to make a shortlist.
For many landlords the tenancy is a relationship not just a contract and all parties have the right to seek the bigger picture when trying to make the right choice.

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