Make sure you are fully organised for a speedy reference check when you make an offer!
Have you started to look for or a flat or house to rent? Although conducting a personal & reference check is not required before you have shortlisted a property and start discussing lease terms, our advice is to take the time to prepare a small "reference check" pack, with the information that is usually required, at the start of your search process, once you have defined your requirements and finalised your dream property profile. You can then keep it handy to facilitate a speedy reference check, which can give you a significant advantage over other potential “candidates”.
Your personal & reference check documentation pack:
- Proof of ID – a copy of passport or driving license generally suffice
- Proof of address - utility bill, bank statement, mobile phone bill dated within the last 3 months
- Name and contact details of your current / previous landlord – The reference agency will typically call or email them to ask about you. If you have lived at the current residence for less than 3 years, you may be asked for the details of your previous landlord as well. We recommend letting your previous landlord(s) know so they are aware of the context before the agency reaches out to them directly.
- Information about your employment or business, salary slips - This is required to satisfy the landlord that you have sufficient means to pay the rent on time and throughout the tenancy period. You may be required to provide copies of your salary slips.
- Bank statements - This may or may not be required but it’s best to keep handy (at least covering the last 3 months)
- Information about your guarantor – if, for any reason, you cannot show your current income to be sufficient to cover your monthly rent (e.g. if you are currently between jobs, or you have recently setup a business and are not yet drawing full salary - as is the case with a lot of tech entrepreneurs these days), you may be asked for a guarantor. The person you choose will need to: 1) have proof of income that covers your monthly rent several times over, 2) have a good credit record, 3) be a landlord in the UK.
Be mindful of social media platforms & how to use them
When you first connect with an agent, they are likely to ask for some background information - typically your age, family status and occupation. We found it helpful, in some instances, to share a link to our LinkedIn profiles in lieu of a business card.
Bear in mind that landlords or agents may check your social media activity, especially at the stage where you have made an offer and are going through the reference check. Typical social media platforms scanned include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn - these can be accessed easily by anyone from outside your network if you are using default privacy settings.
As you know, it's a very competitive market out there...
So, our motto is “better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared” (Whitney M. Young – American civil rights leader).
For more tips & hacks for tenants home hunting and moving in London, see here.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A BETTER RENTAL SEARCH EXPERIENCE?
At The Urban Collective, our Sherpas can help your reduce your search time by 50% or more. Sherpas are our local area experts (think also your personalised tenant concierge) who will:
- Search through online listings & off market properties
- Be your daily point of contact, managing all estate agents and landlords for you
- Pre-screen properties & arrange viewings, so you can save time
- Work through the negotiation process with you
Click on the link below to get connected with one of our Sherpas!