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Long-term tenants shouldn’t need to be referenced

Tenants who have been renting for 10 years or longer should not have to have to go through the same referencing process every time they move between rental properties, it has been suggested.  

Mike Georgeson, founder and chief executive of RentalStep, a PropTech startup that provides tenants with a unique TenantPassport which details their rental history and contributes towards improving their credit score when they pay rent on time, believes that the letting industry needs to do more to cater for long-term and lifestyle tenants by providing a more streamlined and suitable process for renters and landlords.

Georgeson said: "With many tenants now renting privately for 10 years or longer, they have the opportunity to build up a comprehensive rental history.  

"It therefore seems logical that all this information is stored in one central place and that tenants and landlords don't have to undertake a lengthy, admin-heavy and sometimes expensive traditional referencing process every time someone wants to move home.

"If tenants are renting for the long-term but moving around frequently to experience different locations, there shouldn't be a need for them to constantly resubmit the same information."

Landlords can use RentalStep, a recent winner of HM Treasury's Rent Recognition Challenge, to find the best tenants who are fully referenced and credit checked by Experian.

Landlords can also use the platform to list available properties on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation and receive free access to an online booking system and comprehensive referencing services.

"The cost of referencing prospective tenants is something all landlords need to consider," Georgeson continued.   

"From next year, it will no longer be possible to charge tenants upfront fees and it's widely expected that the cost of the traditional referencing process will fall to landlords."

As the market changes to provide a fairer deal for tenants, Georgeson believes that landlords must adapt and think about their own costs and whether it makes sense to pay a fee each time a tenant needs referencing.

He added: “We all need to embrace the shift towards lifestyle renting and provide an easier way for tenants to move between properties, while allowing landlords to find fully referenced tenants in one place with less administration and at a fraction of the cost.” 

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    • 08 June 2018 08:52 AM

    Yes they do. Everyone does. Things change all the time. This is a ridiculous and childish suggestion.

  • SCN Lettings

    An article born of a vested interest.

  • Daniela Provvedi

    What if the tenant's situation changes in the meanwhile? What if a tenant has behaved fraudulently during the last month or so; what if the last property the tenant stayed in, he (she) used it to rent out to people on AirBnB (for example) and was found out? What if the tenant has lost his (her) job?
    This is a ridiculous suggestion.

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    i agree strongly with all 3 comments above, all tenants need to be fully checked out every time, total madness not to check every new tenant out very carefully.

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    • 08 June 2018 10:32 AM

    I have had tenants with excellent credentials morph into uncredit- worthy cases, and not necessarily through any personal fecklessness or poor judgement on their part, but just by that thing called "life". So you have to realise that nothing remains the same. With the weight of the law shifting inexorably in favour of the tenant the need to remain vigilant and keep referencing people has never been more essential.

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    Yes they do. I have been lucky in that the majority of my tenants have been long term, however I have had to evict one who decided after 8 years that she was no longer paying ret. No excuses, no reasons, just stopped. I would not want to be in the position that I take on a new tenant on the basis that they have rented long term previously only to find they've done something similar to another landlord. If I knew that up front through referencing I wouldn't accept them as a tenant. Everything seems to be far to weighted to benefit the tenants these days. I know there are some bad landlords, but there are also bad tenants yet I never read stories about how they should be dealt with and made to compensate (or at least pay up what's owed) to the landlords they ruin.

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    I have had the experience of a few long term tenants deciding not to pay and keep possession while living somewhere else. Luckily I had to devise a way to get rid of him but it was not a pleasant experience and thousands of pounds worth rent was lost but it was good riddance

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