Majority of tenants in UK not asked to provide proof of income and only half ID
Landlords and letting agents in the UK are failing to carry out sufficient financial checks on new tenants with 75% not asked to provide proof of income, new research suggests. A new industry report commissioned by tenant referencing and insurance agency Landlord Secure found that just 22% were required to provide proof of sufficient funds in accounts linked to their rent.
It also found that only 35% were asked to provide evidence that they had an active bank account at all and, perhaps more surprisingly, just 52%, were asked to provide proof of identity. The findings paint a worrying picture of the rental property market in the UK and suggest that landlords are being put at risk of becoming stuck with tenants who are signing leases they can’t afford in the long term.
In fact, the report found that only 29% were asked to confirm they were in employment during the application process, while only a quarter had to provide a reference from a previous landlord to prove they paid rent on time.
Landlord Secure’s report comes as the Residential Landlords Association calls for a tenant’s rent payment history to be included as part of the credit check process to gauge if they have a history of paying rent on time or not.
The findings also reveal a significant disconnect between perception and reality about financial checks of rental applicants, with 59% of landlords saying they think applicants undergo robust financial checks.