Applicants often ask me lots of questions when enquiring about a property. A few questions are asked more frequently, so I figured it’s about time Fishneedwater answered these questions for all to see.
We often get asked, what does referencing consist of and why does it need to be done?
I’d like to start with – referencing is nothing to be anxious about. It mostly involves checking information you provide about your occupation with your employer, a current and or previous landlord and credit referencing agency to check that you don’t have any County Court judgements (but if you do you may still be fine with a guarantor).
Moving onto why it is done… In the short, referencing gives the Landlord a clearer picture of you and it’s there to help them make a more informed decision on who they think will treat their property with the respect and care they’d expect.
We have been asked previously, why do I need to pay a deposit?
This is an entirely reasonable question. From the prospective of a landlord, when letting out your property you put a lot of trust into an individual you usually don’t know very well to keep your property in a good nick.
The deposit is held against non-payment of rent and also to ensure that any damages exceeding fair wear and tear can be rectified once the tenancy comes to an end. Of course any negotiation would have to be done within the remit of whichever Tenant Deposit Scheme your deposit was protected with.
The previous question often follows on to – who will hold my deposit?
It’s safe, don’t worry. The deposit has to lawfully be registered with an approved Tenant Deposit scheme and is held by either the Agent, Landlord or paid straight to the deposit scheme… this is dependent on which scheme is used. However this shouldn’t be an issue as you should be provided with details of the scheme and whether the deposit will be held by the Agent or their Landlord.
Some tenants ask us, why do I need a guarantor and what do they need to do?
Guarantors simply provide a needed guarantee over rent. Sometimes referencing decisions require a guarantor; For example – your earnings may not be enough to pay the full rent or you may not attain the appropriate rating set by the referencing agency, or you have CCJ’s from a past credit experience.
Don’t be put off by this. Each agent will address the issue differently. At fishneedwater we will always ask our landlords if a guarantor is acceptable and more usually it is.
We make sure you are informed about the income requirements you’ll need to have when you enquire about a specific property and whether it is within your budget based on referencing calculations. We are able to do this by asking thorough questions before we book you in to view a property.
In the eventuality you require a guarantor, they are referenced just like you. In most common cases, they’re required to be employed and resident in the UK with adequate earnings to cover your rental commitment and take on debt. The Guarantor is responsible for covering any rent arrears if the tenant does not pay, they also may be liable for any damages totalling more than the deposit sum registered.
Finally I’m often asked what you can do if you want to leave a property
If you are in a fixed term contract, you cannot ordinarily leave the property earlier than the end of the contract unless all parties agree to it by mutual consent or their is a break clause and it will tell you at what point you can serve your notice to quit.
If you are out of your original fixed term contract there would typically be a notice period to serve, which is usually one month provided you serve the notice before the monthly anniversary of your recurring tenancy date.
Hopefully this has been able to answer some questions that regularly cause confusion for prospective tenants, feel free to leave a comment if there’s any other questions we could answer for you.
Connect with me on LinkedIn – Darien Neavin