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Tenant referencing made simple

Ross Nichols of Just Move In explains how a new way to check the probity of tenants takes away all the pain and hassle.

Ross Nichols

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Tenant referencing – it’s a necessary evil. Although most tenants are responsible and pay their rent on time, broke swindlers with dubious morals and carpet-wrecking pets do unfortunately exist. And sometimes tenant referencing is all that stands between you and an irate landlord who likes composing spleen-venting reviews online.

It’s good news, therefore, that we’ve found a way to make tenant referencing less painful. Here are five things agents dislike most and how our new digital referencing platform makes life simpler:

1. It takes too long

Tenant referencing shouldn’t take longer than 48 hours but sadly it often does. Traditional referencing agencies have to compile multiple documents, sort them manually, and then employers and landlords can be slow to supply references. The result? The process can take up to a week or more.

Tenant referencing is also a drag for tenants. According to our research, 47 per cent of them find it more stressful than negotiations, removals, organising utilities, and registering with the council. And who can blame them? There are application forms, IDs, payslips, bank statements and tons of supporting documents to organise.

Our new digital referencing platform streamlines the way documents are compiled. Meanwhile, tenants can make applications on their mobile phone, and take photos of their supporting documents and upload these directly. Simple.

2. You have to chase updates

Traditional referencing is hard work for the referencing agency and involves a lot of manual work for everyone. There are referees to chase, documents to review, and information to verify. Our platform solves this problem because processes are automated. Users can review applications in the Agent Dashboard and see when the various references have arrived. They can then compare the information provided by the tenant and the referee to see if everything checks out. There’s also a Task Manager that monitors the progress of each application and shows what’s left to do. Agents no longer have to chase every application individually.

This frustration is nothing compared to being lumbered with a bad tenant.”

3. The checks aren’t reliable enough

Traditional tenant referencing hasn’t changed much for years. Applicants provide some ID, go through credit checks, and arrange the necessary references. There’s just one problem: the fraudsters have changed. These days, tricksters are especially devious. They use technology to fake landlord references, plus they sometimes ask colleagues to pose as their boss. That glowing reference with proof of income might prove dodgier than a Rolex bought at a flea market.

Fortunately, our platform includes rigorous security checks to root out unsuitable candidates. We also offer free pre-screening, so agents get an indication of applicants’ suitability before paying for a full reference. The comprehensive process thereafter includes anti-money laundering, bankruptcy, CCJ, AML, and IVA checks on top of the usual employer and income assessments.

4. Applicants’ financial status is only assessed on income

Think that applicant with a six-figure salary looks appetising on paper? Don’t count your chickens. Sadly, bank statements and payslips – the usual barometers of solvency – only reveal a snapshot of an applicant’s financial position.

This is where Open Banking, which we’re introducing later this year, really excels. It reveals an applicant’s spending habits, shows if their income and expenditure fluctuates, and uncovers any red flags.

5. It’s too expensive

Traditional referencing agencies often charge upwards of £15 per reference or more. Meanwhile, although some cheaper digital alternatives can cost as little as £5 a pop, their service suffers in comparison. We give agents the best of both worlds – a faster, smarter service for just £7 per reference. Our platform also saves money in other ways too. Because all the relevant information is available instantly, the whole process is more efficient and less time-consuming.

Get in the fast lane

It’s great news that agents finally have a choice: put up with the pedestrian or get into top gear with Just Move In. Our user-friendly platform is easy to navigate, removes all the traditional barriers mentioned above, and has a dashboard that’s as stylish as a sports car. It’s also fully mobile-optimised to make life easier all round.

The other people who will benefit, of course, are landlords. Agents might dislike tenant referencing. Some even dislike it a lot. But this frustration is nothing compared with the exasperation of being lumbered with a bad tenant. If that unauthorised dog chews up their carpet, the landlord will be chewing the agent’s ear off for weeks.

Just Move In is the UK’s No.1 rated Home Setup and Utility Management company. We enjoy making home moves simpler, and work with agents to improve their service and enhance their reputation. Find out more and book a demo by visiting justmovein.com/referencing.

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