What Do Landlords Check Before Renting a Property in the UK?

Checking documents or performing an online verification of the right to rent is a must for landlords and agents in the UK. They must first get your permission to perform a credit check to see if you've had trouble paying bills in the past. This is to verify your identity and does not affect your credit score. Landlords and agents must also check that a tenant or tenant can legally rent their residential property in England.

The Home Office can be consulted if the tenant is a Commonwealth citizen but doesn't have the correct documents; they may still have the right to rent in the UK. A credit check can help landlords learn about a tenant's previous history when it comes to paying off debts. If a tenant's credit report contains county court (CCJ) judgments or insolvency solutions, the landlord may decide that this indicates that the prospective tenant will have problems paying them in the future. All landlords in England must check the “right to rent” to ensure that tenants can legally live in the UK.

It's against the law to discriminate against someone based on their place of origin. NRLA credit checks are provided by TransUnion, one of the three main credit check agencies in the United Kingdom. Thousands of NRLA landlords have used it to help them find suitable tenants for their properties. Regular property inspections are also vital for landlords, as they assess the general condition of the interior and exterior of the property and record any repairs or maintenance that may be necessary.

It's also a useful reminder for tenants about how they should care for the property and a way to maintain a good relationship between landlords and tenants. Homeowners in Northern Ireland can only charge the cost of the reference check itself, for example, the cost of a credit check charged by another company. After pre-selection, if you decide to continue with the application, you can consult this list when you carry out your reference checks. If, on the other hand, the applicant uses a guarantor, they can consult the Property Registry to confirm the validity of the reference.

The Total Landlord article on how to get access to carry out a gas safety inspection has more tips. There are three key areas of health and safety where landlords must carry out annual legal checks to meet their legal responsibilities and fulfill their duty of care to the tenant. In addition to protecting your investment through regular inspections, you have an obligation to ensure, to the extent reasonably possible, that the property is safe at all times. Some landlords like to be more practical with their approach to getting an idea of what applicants are like; taking three or four references from previous landlords or employers, from a bank, and perhaps from a business reference, an accountant, or an attorney is recommended.

Lastly, landlords and agents must verify the immigration status of any adult occupant before renting a property.