Our Process

The referencing process explained.

LetRef, the referencing specialists

Obtaining references for future tenants is a very important part of the letting process. When done thoroughly we can weed out fraudulent people and also any adverse credit history.

“We endeavour to take the entire burden away from you”

With our experience we have refined our procedures so that the whole process is smooth from start to finish for all concerned. You can see a step-by-step explanation of our procedure below.


Procedure

  • The letting agent/landlord has an account set up in order to become a user on our secure online referencing portal www.eletref.co.uk.
  • The letting agent/landlord creates a property and adds tenants/guarantor details.
  • The tenant/guarantor will be sent an email instructing them to complete an online application and upload their supporting documents to our secure website www.eletref.co.uk. The applicant will be able to log onto their portal throughout the process to see progress, they will be sent text alerts if we have sent them a message.
  • The letting agent/landlord can keep up-to-date with progress by logging onto their secure area in www.eletref.co.uk, they can see when the applicant has submitted the application, the credit check is done and when all references have been received.
  • We contact the current and previous landlords, employer, accountant (if necessary), character referee, carry out a credit and electoral roll check, in some cases we carry out a passport check (if requested) and we always carry out a pre-ID/Visa document check to assist with the Right to Rent Check which will be carried out in person or video call by the letting agent/landlord.
  • Once completed the reference report is available in PDF format for the letting agent/landlord to download from our secure website, along with supporting documentation.

What do we check?

Landlords/Agents

When assessing all applications, significant consideration is given to how an applicant conducted their last tenancy.

In instances where applicants have had a tenancy before, references will be obtained from the current or previous Landlord/Managing Agent.

This would enable us to ensure that rental payments have been satisfactory, the amount stated is correct, the property was kept in good condition, conduct has been acceptable and notice has been given by the applicant to vacate the property.

If there appears to be any inconsistencies or discrepancies with a reference, then LetRef will investigate on your behalf.

Employment
Employed

All details relating to the applicant’s current employment (and previous, where necessary) will be checked and verified. A basic salary figure, together with the length of service and position held, will usually determine our final decision, although commission and certain additional allowances may be taken into consideration when appraising the applicant. If we are at all concerned about the validity of the reference, we carry out additional company credit checks free of charge. Sometimes we ask for further verification such as bank statements and corresponding payslips. Some of our landlords/letting agents instruct us to collect three months personal bank statements for each application, applicants are instructed to upload these with their application, this is a great way to verify income. We also ask all applicants to upload their most recent payslip.

Self-employed/Company Directors

We will contact the applicant’s accountant, access information relating to the financial status of the applicant’s business (additionally supplying a company credit check when we think this will be helpful), ask for bank statements where no accountant is used and, if necessary, tax returns.

Retired

Income from a Private or Company pension will be confirmed, through documentary evidence, accountants reference or six months bank statements. Any decision will be based on financial circumstances and satisfactory personal references.

Character references

We contact a personal referee and establish how long they've known the applicant and in what capacity. This gives the landlord a better picture of what sort of person the prospective tenant is.

We also ask them to confirm their own name, address and occupation. We keep this information on file for further reassurance to landlords and managing agents should be need to contact them at a later date.

Many other referencing companies don't bother with character references but we have found them helpful and provides an additional contact for the applicant should there be any future difficulties.

Credit check

We will search databases for any County Court Judgements (CCJ’s), Bankruptcies or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA’s) showing against the applicant’s name. We insist on having photographic ID and proof of address in order to carry these checks out as without these, we could not be sure of the accuracy.

You will be notified of any adverse credit history and the following details:

  • County Court where any Judgement/IVA or
  • Bankruptcy was issued (if applicable)
  • Date of issue
  • Amount of judgement
  • Date satisfied if applicable
  • Any aliases
Electoral Roll/RTR ID

For each application, LetRef will carry out an Electoral Roll search to check for registration details at addresses provided by the applicant as well as checking the ID documents are appropriate for the new Right to Rent legislation.

Searches will also be carried out to locate any linked addresses for each applicant that may be found.

We always insist that we are provided with photographic ID and proof of address, otherwise it is impossible to guarantee the accuracy of a credit/electoral roll check. If applicants are not on the electoral roll they usually show links to the address and this satisfies us of their presence there, we can see past credit checks/electoral roll information at three linked addresses, no matter how far back they go. It should be noted that in some cases, applicants do not appear on the roll but as long as they are linked to an address this re-assures us. If an applicant shows no links at all to an address then we will investigate further and carry out additional checks at past addresses until we can locate them.

If an applicant has just arrived in the UK and an Electoral Roll check is not possible, we can validate ID such as Passports and Driving Licences. Right to Rent legislation also makes it mandatory for the agent to check the original ID documents in person or by video call in the presence of the applicant. We will check that the documentation is in order for the RTR check and point out any potential issues.

Guarantors

There may be instances where your applicant may have insufficient information or data available to assess and approve an application on its own merit. In such instances, you may wish to consider the option of including a Guarantor. The Guarantor will be reference checked in exactly the same way as the tenant. A Guarantor MUST be a UK homeowner - if your referencing company tells you otherwise you are not being given sound advice. A guarantor needs to earn 3 times the annual rent.

At LetRef, we will recommend the support of a guarantor for the following reasons:

  • Short-term contract employment
  • Applicant has recently started a new job and is on probation
  • Income falls below the required level of 2.3 times annual rent (2.5 times annual rent for rent guarantee)
  • Temporary employment or unverifiable income
  • Where the applicant is a student
  • Should an applicant be currently unemployed
  • If the applicant has a CCJ or adverse credit

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