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articles > How to Credit Check your Tenants
Articles > How to Credit Check Your Tenants!
Screening of tenants, employees and consumers

Article kindly supplied by
Gordon Marchant,
Simple2rent Ltd,
Unit 48 BIC, Innova Science Park, Enfield EN3 7XU

For new landlords it can be a daunting issue, maybe as much as £100,000 or £200,000 invested in a property and now you are going to hand over the keys to someone you have never met before. How do you know the tenant will look after your property? How do you know they will not default on their rent?

To a degree there is a risk in every decision made, the key is to minimise the risk in proportion to what is at stake. For tenant background checks it is relatively straight forward, but it is surprising how many landlords do not do the basics. So here are a few tips.


  • 1. Tenant identity. You must check for evidence as to who they are
    This needs to be a photo ID, ideally a passport, a driving licence would also be OK but note that these are easier to forge than a passport. You should take a copy of these documents and note down their name, date of birth and address.


  • 2. Next you need to establish the tenant’s ability to pay
    They need to have enough income to pay the rent and cover their living expenses. Their income can be checked by asking for copies of their last 3 pay slips. Their expenses can be checked (to a degree) by asking to see copies of their last 3 months bank statements. Note the name and address on these documents.


  • 3. Ask for a reference from the current landlord or letting agent
    Assuming tihs is not their first time renting.


  • 4. Obtain a credit check on the tenant. This is vital!
    You need to check for past history of CCJs, Bankruptcy or Insolvency. It is not unknown for a tenant to have £10s of thousands in CCJs outstanding, it will only be a matter of time before debt collectors trace the tenant to your property, after which you may not see your tenant again, never mind any outstanding rent.


You can obtain tenant background checks from just £8.95 (as of August 2009).


A relatively small investment could save on huge problem with tenants defaulting on their rent later.

Screening of tenants, employees and consumers


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Screening of tenants, employees and consumers


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