The importance of vetting tenants... and from the 1st June, not charging them for it!


The law banning certain fees to tenants comes into effect in a little over two months’ time and letting agents have been preparing for this change for over last two years.

At Darlows we are certain that there should be no driving down in the standards when it comes to referencing prospective tenants. There is a risk that some tenants may apply for properties even if they wouldn’t normally pass the referencing criteria - after all, if they don’t need to pay any fees to apply, what could be stopping them!  And this makes professional referencing all the more important.

Just what are the primary reasons that landlords should professionally reference their tenants:

  • To catch those tenants who are intent on committing fraud
  • To stop those tenants who really can’t afford to pay the rent
  • To prevent you letting your property to someone who has had significant problems in the past

Plus, if you use our Managed Service Plus, then you benefit from guaranteed rent in the event that the tenant defaults – however this can only be offered if a tenant has successfully passed the reference.   

At Darlows, we continue to work with leading tenant referencing company HomeLet.  As the largest provider in the UK, they’ re more experienced than most at finding out the truth about the prospective tenant’s financial circumstances.

If we’re managing your property on our fully managed option then a comprehensive reference is included as part of the service 

Any landlords who do break the law and attempt to charge a fee to a tenant after 1st June can expect a fine of up to £5,000.

So just what can and can’t be charged to tenants:

 Allowable

 Not allowable

  • Holding deposit of up to one week’s rent
  • Rent
  • Deposit of up to five weeks’ rent
  • Default payments – provided they’re detailed in the tenancy agreement
  • Costs to complete the reference, including guarantor
  • Deposit greater than five weeks’ rent
  • Any default payments not detailed in the tenancy agreement
  • Reasonable fees for making changes to a tenancy agreement
  • Reasonable fees in the event a tenant wants to end a tenancy early

 

If you would like to speak to us about our fully-managed service we offer landlords, please speak to your local Darlows.  When you select our fully-managed service, then you don’t need to worry about the cost of professionally referencing your prospective tenant - because we include references within our management fees.