• TenantVERIFY®
  • Email: contact@tenantverify.co.uk
  • London: 0208 144 2064
  • Manchester: 0161 298 4421

Frequently Asked Questions

TenantVERIFY®

These are common questions people ask

Why should I Credit Check and Reference my tenants?

There's no absolutely guarantee but having an effective screening process, which includes having your tenants complete a comprehensive Tenancy Application Form and doing thorough credit & Reference Checks, considerably reduces your risk of taking on a problem tenant. See our "Advice on Tenant Screening, a 20 point Checklist" - link below

ID Check for Right to Rent – how do I do these?

Remember, you also need to verify identity by doing face-to-face ID checks with photo documents (driver’s licence or passport, visas for example), before you do our Checks. It is now a legal requirement in England that landlords do Right–to-Rent Checks. These involve face-to-face ID checks and verification of any original documents which prove an Applicant's right to be in the UK for the period of any proposed tenancy. You must also make and keep copies of these documents. The are now heavy fines for non-compliance

Do you verify Right-to-Rent as part of your service?

Yes, we verify Right-to-Rent based on the information and supporting uploaded documents you supply. However, you MUST carry out the face-to-face checks with original documents yourself. You should take copies of these and we recommend you take a phone photo “mug shot” of the Applicant for your records.

How can I verify my tenant's identity?

These days, if you open a bank account or undertake any form of financial transaction you will be asked to verify your identity (ID), so everyone is used to doing it. This involves producing original copies of documents such as passports and driving licences (documents with photographs) for personal identity, plus bank statements and utility bills to verify address (residency) details, and now with Right-to-Rent, visas. As a landlord or letting agent you should always verify a tenant's identity by having sight of these identity documents yourself before doing Checks.

Why should I use TenantVERIFY®?

TenantVERIFY® was one of the first to offer an on-line tenant verification service in the UK. We believe we offer a high quality, cost effective and speedy service which satisfies the needs and safeguards the interests of busy landlords and letting agents. We are continually developing the capability of our on-line systems for speed, reliability and ease of use.

How does the TenantVERIFY® system work?

The 4 Stage TenantVERIFY® Process:

  1. 1. The Application - Register for a User Account - user accounts are FREE, secure and without obligation, then choose the type of check and process method you want:
    • a. Send a Link to your tenant applicant for online completion - this is the fastest method, or
    • b. e-mail the pdf form over to your tenant and have them complete, scan and return it via e-mail, or
    • c. print off a form and have the applicant complete it by hand.
  2. 2. Submitting Information - when your online form is returned – you check the information to make sure it is accurate and click on the “submit button”. For e-mailed and printed forms - transfer the information from the completed application form to our online form before submitting it. You will then be passed through to our bank’s secure payment system.
  3. 3. Processing – we will do our detailed checks and analysis on the information supplied, along with any photos / documents you uploaded, all of which will be stored on your User Account Control Panel for future reference.
  4. 4. The Decision - we will compile a completed report about your applicant based on a wide range of checks and our years of experience. We will give you our clear decision – Accept, Accept with Caution, or Reject.

We do the rest; we will carry out our Credit Checks, finance and residency checks and a detailed risk analysis on the Applicant, plus referencing where appropriate. We will compile a detailed report with our recommended decision and upload this to your account.

SMS text messages and emails will be sent to prompt you and the Applicant at critical stages in process, and you can be assured we will complete the work with the utmost diligence and urgency.

If you would like help or more information about using our systems please contact us via email or telephone.

How long will it take to get the results?
  • Basic Checks are normally returned within two hours, if received within a working hours’ time frame, depending on our current workload.
  • Comprehensive Checks, which involve us making contact with, and getting replies from, referees, are targeted at 2 working days maximum.
  • Fast Comprehensive Checks are available at a premium price where we will prioritise and attempt to verify references the same day, providing the application is submitted before 12 noon. (Note, if we fail to obtain references within the day the Check will be returned based upon the information we do have.
  • International Credit Checks are normally returned within three working days.
  • Company Checks will be returned the same day providing we receive the Application before 12 noon.
  • Company Pus+ Checks are normally completed within 2 working days.

Our working hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

When is a guarantor required?

Guarantors provide an extra element of security for the landlord by guaranteeing to pay rent or damages should the tenant default. Guarantors are usually required when the tenant:

  • Is a student or unemployed
  • Is in receipt of Housing Benefit. A pre-tenancy determination which is equal to at least 85% of the rental amount will be required by the local authority Housing Officer
  • Has not been in continuous full-time employment for at least 6 months.
  • Has a rental commitment which is more than 40% of annual income
  • Has recently arrived from overseas to take up employment
  • Has an adverse credit history
  • Has failed a TenantVERIFY® Basic or Comprehensive Check

We will always recommend a guarantor where the report result is "Accept with Caution" which means that this is not an outright decline, but there is some doubt about one or more aspects of the Checks.

Note: Guarantors must have seen and approved the rental agreement before signing a legally binding deed of guarantee.

Why are a Tenant Applicant’s Previous Addresses Required?

It is important to include the tenant's previous addresses on the application form for a period of up to the last 6 years. This is because linked addresses may contain additional credit history and/or adverse credit information which may not show up on their current address, particularly if they have not been at their present address very long. We may need proof of residency documents, such as utility bills and bank statements if the Applicant is not on the electoral roll.

Can I take out Rent Guarantee Insurance on my tenant or tenants?

Yes, providing each tenant on the tenancy agreement (all adult occupants) are successfully referenced using a TenantVERIFY® Comprehensive Check.

The onus is on the landlord / agent to make absolutely sure that a successful Comprehensive Check is obtained on a tenant BEFORE taking out rent guarantee insurance.

Please note, an unqualified pass (Accept) must be obtained - in the green zone - anything less will result in invalid insurance cover.

What if my tenant fails or is given a Caution?

On the Comprehensive Check, can I still take out Rent Guarantee? No, in this case you will need a Guarantor. The guarantor must pass a Comprehensive Check - in the green zone - and there must be no unsatisfied County Court Judgements (CCJs) against the tenant. You can then take out rent guarantee insurance with legal protection.

Multiple Tenant sharers - Should I check them all?

You should always have ALL adult residents sign onto your tenancy agreement - they are all tenants and need to form a join tenancy. This gives you more protection as a landlord. Otherwise you could have a situation where the main tenant leaves, leaving a non-tenant in residence, with no agreement, no proof of tenancy and unable to easily gain possession.

Ideally you should do comprehensive Checks on the main adult residents, or at least a Comprehensive Check on the main rent payer, and Basic Checks on other residents.

Housing Benefit Tenants & Rent Guarantee.

In the case of Housing Benefit tenants, all tenants on the tenancy must be credit checked and referenced and pass a TenantVERIFY® Comprehensive Check - in the green zone.

Where tenant/s fail the Comprehensive Check with a caution - a guarantor is then required.

The Guarantor must stand surety for the whole amount of the rent and must independently pass the Comprehensive Check. There must be no unsatisfied CCJs against the tenant.

The Rent Guarantee Insurance is for 6 or 12 months -

Providing you replace your existing tenant or tenants with newly referenced (Comprehensive Check) tenants, your existing insurance policy can continue for 12 months.

Rent Guarantee - My Tenant did not pass?

Where prospective tenant/s fail the Comprehensive Check with a caution - blue zone - the report will sometimes recommend you use a guarantor. Providing the guarantor then passes the Comprehensive Check with 2 positive references you are then eligible for rent guarantee insurance on the tenancy, providing there are no unsatisfied CCJs against the tenant. Failure to comply will mean your insurance is not valid.

I don't think my tenant will pass a Comprehensive Check?

Can I take out insurance with a Check on the guarantor only?

The tenants must be checked first. If the tenant/s fail with a caution - in the blue zone - you can take out rent guarantee insurance with a guarantor, providing the tenant/s have no unsatisfied CCJs.

I have a tenant coming from abroad - Can I take out Rent Guarantee Insurance?

Providing a foreign tenant passes the TenantVERIFY® Comprehensive International Check, you would need a UK resident (ideally home owning) guarantor - yes you can then obtain Rent Guarantee & Legal Protection Insurance on your foreign tenant with guarantor.

I have an existing tenant - Can I take out Rent Guarantee Insurance?

You can take out rent guarantee insurance on an existing tenant, but there is a 90 day excess period before you can make a claim. Also, the tenant must have passed a Comprehensive Check - in the green zone - BEFORE the tenancy started.

The alternative to that is to wait until you renew the tenancy agreement - providing your tenant passes the Comprehensive Check - in the green zone - you will be able to take out a new rent guarantee policy.

Divulging Confidential Information

I am concerned that my tenant or guarantors will not want to divulge to me confidential information such as salary, bank account and other quite personal details. Will this be a problem?"

This is a question we are occasionally asked and landlords or agents quite naturally feel they are being intrusive. However, look at it this way: you are handing over an asset and giving a legal interest in a property which is worth perhaps £100,000 minimum, perhaps many times this. If you go to your bank or building society for a loan you will be asked just as many personal questions, if not more.

You really do need to make sure that your tenants can afford the rental or that your guarantor can afford to pay the rent if your tenant defaults. Unfortunately, we cannot give you a recommendation without this information. We find that in practice, as this process is so common and generally accepted nowadays, and as this process is approved as a necessary requirement by the Information Commissioner's Office under the Data Protection Act, very few people object.

Of course, the onus is on landlords and letting agents to convince tenants and guarantors that the information is kept totally secure and confidential and in accordance with the Data Protection Act principles. If tenants refuse you can understand their reluctance, with identity theft in mind, but also you have got to ask yourself: have they got something to hide?

Why do the printed forms ask for more information than the online forms?

Our printed forms are often more comprehensive and request more details that our on-line forms. We can complete all the necessary checks with the information requested on the on-line forms. The reason the printed forms sometimes ask for more information is purely for the benefit of the landlord / agent, in case they have problems with the tenancy in the future - rent arrears, abandonment, disputes etc. This is when the additional information is very useful.

Of course you are using our system to try to eliminate these problems, but there are no absolute guarantees - tenancies can and do go wrong whatever checks you do, though our checks cut down these risks considerably. Completed forms should be signed by the tenant (electronic signatures are legal), giving you legal permission to do the checks, and the hard copy should be kept securely for future reference, for as long as the information is relevant. Afterwards the information should be securely destroyed - in-line with Data Protection Act principles.

Why do you ask for Bank details on the forms?

We request prospective tenants' bank details because most landlords / agents will be arranging standing order payments and therefore these details will be needed. Also, should there be subsequent problems with payments it is very useful information for the landlord / agent. Providing these details to us on the on-line application form is optional but when you do provide them we can verify that the bank account in that name actually exists.

Can tenants complete the application form online to save me the task?

Yes, the instructions on our system will advise – see Key Steps

My report has come back with a caution saying my tenant cannot be located at the address/s provided - What should I do?

When a tenant cannot be located at the address/s provided, additional information should be sought. Proof of residence and further identity checks should be carried out and additional checks made to ensure that there are no County Court Judgements (CCJs) registered for the tenant at any previous addresses up to 6 years. If you or the Applicant can provide additional documentary evidence (utility bills or bank statements) we will amend the result and update the report.

What is a FICO Score?

FICO is the acronym for Fair Isaac Corporation, a publicly-traded corporation in the U.S which developed a method of credit scoring now widely used and recognised among the main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian etc) as a FICO score. They calculate a borrower's credit score based on information held on the individual's credit file using their own different computational formulas and statistical methods to determine a credit-worthiness score from 0 to 1000.

What are the Key Stages in your assessment process?

The 4 Stage TenantVERIFY® Process:

  1. 1. The Application - Register for a User Account - user accounts are FREE, secure and without obligation, then choose the type of check and process method you want:
    • a. Send a Link to your tenant applicant for online completion - this is the fastest method, or
    • b. e-mail the pdf form over to your tenant and have them complete, scan and return it via e-mail, or
    • c. print off a form and have the applicant complete it by hand.
  2. 2. Submitting Information - when your online form is returned – you check the information to make sure it is accurate and click on the “submit button”. For e-mailed and printed forms - transfer the information from the completed application form to our online form before submitting it. You will then be passed through to our bank’s secure payment system.
  3. 3. Processing – we will do our detailed checks and analysis on the information supplied, along with any photos / documents you uploaded, all of which will be stored on your User Account Control Panel for future reference.
  4. 4. The Decision - we will compile a completed report about your applicant based on a wide range of checks and our years of experience. We will give you our clear decision – Accept, Accept with Caution, or Reject.

We do the rest; we will carry out our Credit Checks, finance and residency checks and a detailed risk analysis on the Applicant, plus referencing where appropriate. We will compile a detailed report with our recommended decision and upload this to your account.

SMS text messages and emails will be sent to prompt you and the Applicant at critical stages in process, and you can be assured we will complete the work with the utmost diligence and urgency.

If you would like help or more information about using our systems please contact us via email or telephone.

See our User Guide here

Our Advice on Tenant Screening, a 20 point Checklist here