Before you can put pen to paper on your new rental home, you will first need to prove that you are a good tenant. With a personal reference for your rental application, you can give your landlord proof that you can pay rent on time, and generally make their life easier. This process may seem fairly straightforward, but there is a lot to consider for those looking to put together references for renting the first time. From what references you need to rent a house/apartment, to the question of renting with a guarantor, our guide will run you through the do’s and don’ts of renting references.
What is a reference check for renting a property?
A reference for renting a house is your future landlord’s way of verifying that you are a good tenant - in other words, someone who can pay rent and keep the property clean. In the first instance, you will need to supply proof of your right to rent in the UK, for example by supplying immigration documents or your passport. Your landlord also has the right to know your credit score, so it is crucial to be as transparent as possible at this stage. There are ways of overcoming a bad credit history - for example, paying a bigger deposit - but not disclosing this information could result in you losing your dream place.
Beyond your right to work and credit score, you will also be asked to supply evidence that you are able to pay your rent, perhaps with proof that you have done so in the past. If you are moving homes, you can get a reference from your current landlord - a good reason to always try and keep your relationship on the best of terms! If you are renting for the first time, you do have the option of getting an employer reference for renting, which can show that you have a job and the capacity to make monthly payments. You will also need to prove that you can meet the affordability criteria to pay.
Renting without references
For those renting for the first time, it is possible that you might have difficulty getting a referee. You could be unemployed, a student looking for accommodation, or a tenant who simply had bad luck with a previous landlord. Thankfully, if you are renting for the first time with no references, there are a few ways around this. For one, you can reassure your landlord with the offer of a larger deposit as proof of your financial stability. If for some reason you have rented in the past and can’t get a reference from your last landlord, be honest and explain why, showing them evidence of previous payments and your tenancy agreement. In addition, there is a chance that you will be asked to get a guarantor if you have never rented before. You can find out more about how to get a guarantor for renting below.
What is a guarantor?
A rent guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent on your behalf if you are ever unable to. If you want to know who can be a guarantor, this has to be someone that you can trust to support you when you need it. Like the tenant, the guarantor does need to provide documents that prove the right to rent in the UK, and evidence that they meet the affordability criteria. If you are a student, it is also worth looking into whether your University has any support schemes for students in need of a guarantor. There are services where you can pay someone to be a guarantor, but we recommend turning to someone you know well, like a friend or member of your family.
Once you have found someone you can rely on, your guarantor will need to sign the tenancy agreement with you. This is to ensure that they are prepared for every event - for example, a landlord may ask a guarantor to pay if a tenant causes damage to the property. The exact details of the guarantor tenancy agreement will need to be agreed between the tenant and guarantor, though this can change in the event that the price of rent is adjusted.
If you are still unclear about the rental reference process, our team at Love to Rent are always on hand to give you helpful information and advice. Our homes are built with the goal of giving you a high quality rental experience, with reputable landlords and continuous communication throughout your move.