Tenant Credit Checks and Referencing

Quickly check your tenants' credentials

Twenty Pounds

per Tenant

Credit Check

Most of our landlords opt to run a credit check on their prospective tenants.

Once we've got consent from the tenants, we check their credit history and flag anything that doesn't look right.

If tenants are happy for us to do so, we can also verify their income directly from their bank account using the new Open Banking standards, which takes only a few minutes.

References

For tenants whose salary payments can't be verified electronically, we'll take upreferences from previous landlords and their employer.

This takes longer than our electronic checks, but as long as their referees are reasonably quick off the mark, it is normally completed within 24 hours.

Portico Direct verified my tenants' income by linking to their bank. The whole process took less than an hour.

Rent Guarantee

No matter how careful you are as a landlord, it is possible for tenants to fall into arrears.

We offer cost effective rent guarantee insurance that means that landlords are covered in the event of underpaid rent.

Rent guarantee insurance is only available where tenants have been referenced by us and their status has been approved.

Guarantors

Some of our tenants, like students, don't have an income that is sufficient to pass our normal affordability checks.

In this case, we can ask for a guarantor to provide an undertaking to cover their rent in the event that they can't keep up with the payments.

We recommend running a credit check on guarantors, to make sure they would be able to pay the rent if the tenants are no longer able to.

Portico Facts

  • 2.5x Salary : Rent
    The first check that our referencing and credit check partners will do is to compare the applicants gross salary to the rental amount. If the plan is that the property will be shared, this is calculated for the appropriate share of the rent. If this the salary is greater than 2.5x of the apportioned rent, and there is evidence of a full time salaried position, then this test will be passed. If the ratio of salary : rent is less than 2.5x, or the applicant doesn't have a salary, then the referencing partner will normally recommend that a guarantor is needed.
  • 3.0x Salary : Rent Guarantor
    If a guarantor is needed, the affordability test that is used is that the guarantor's gross salary must exceed 3.0x the gross rent. This affordability ratio is higher for guarantors because it is expected that the guarantor will have to cover his or her own housing costs from their salary. If no guarantor is available, paying rent in advance is an option. Equally if the tenant or guarantor can provide evidence of sufficient cash reserves, this might another way to satisfy the referencing testing requirements.
  • No CCJs
    It's important to have a good credit record when applying for a tenancy, so our referencing partner will carry out a tenant credit check. This will look for any evidence of credit problems including CCJs and bankruptcies. It's important to raise any potential credit issues with the landlord early on in the process – being up front about it might mean you can find a way round it – like involving a guarantor or paying a proportion of the rent up front. Not disclosing a credit problem is likely to lead to the referencing agency advising the landlord against the applicant.
  • Previous landlords
    As well as affordability tests and credit checks, our landlord referencing service will ask for references from previous landlords and lettings agents. They will typically ask if the rent was paid in full and on time, and whether the property was left in a good state at the end of the tenancy. If there is no previous rental property, it is sometimes possible to use a character reference in place of this test.