Tenant referencing

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    Tenant referencing

    A long read (sorry!)

    My lease is ending and I had found the new ideal flat.

    I went through the tenant referencing and accountant, bank, and current landlord reference came though well. However my previous landlord reference (you may have seen posts dated a year back about him harassing me) gave me a negative reference. To clarify, I let that property for 6 years with never a late payment and had the flat professionally cleaned before leaving.

    On a previous post I mentioned asking the landlord for the initial inventory report. This is something my current landlord supplied to me a month before the end of my lease. My reason for this was the tenancy was six years, a very long time so this would best place me to return to flat to identical condition. He refused to send at the time and the inventory was send a week after my lease ended and 2 weeks after I vacated so was obviously of no use to me then.

    His deductions from my deposit were;

    - One broken shelf in an IKEA wardrobe

    - The professional cleaning wasn't good enough. This handover happend at the beginning of the first lockdown so I handed the cleaners the keys and a tip and left them to it. The landlord claims there was dust under a radiator and that the metal blind was dirty and took 2.5 hours to clean at £20 an hour.

    The exact (identical) blind, new, costs £6.99 which would obvious solution as opposed to charging me for hours of cleaning after such a long tenancy. The wardrobe I concede had one broken shelf. Both these things I think are not outrageous findings after a 6 year tenancy. Nevertheless he requested £200 off my deposit and keen to move on without conflict, I just agreed. I mention these two small things because its the only thing I can think of, as the property was otherwise in good condition and rent was always paid. This doesn't however seem enough to have put the new landlord off - so I assume something completely fictitious was said.

    That was the last I saw or heard of the landlord and my full disclosure as to any issues with the flat itself. I paid rent quarterly and on time for 6 years and we renewed every year. I kept up with his rent increases also.

    So all my referencing for my new flat, current landlord, bank, character, employer, and accountant comes back positively. But I am then informed that my previous landlord (above) gave a negative reference. I have no idea what was said, only that the issue was not to do with the financials (my ability to pay). This landlord had given a glowing reference to my current landlord at the time saying I was a great tenant (those exact words) and he was sorry to see me go. My current landlord and I still have that reference on file. Needless to say if I was dishonest or thought in a million years he would say something negative- I'd have left him off the reference form.

    Since going, and having paid over £150,000 or rent to him on time over 6 years, he has maliciously given me a negative reference, causing me to lose the flat I had paid a holding deposit on, 2 weeks before the end of this current tenancy and thus putting me in a terrible position. Worse than that, the landlord who has now refused my offer due to his reference has s total monopoly on the area, meaning 80% of the property I would want is now unavailable to me.

    I have been renting consistently for 12 years and have never had an issue with referencing or getting a flat. Now I am scrambling for a place within the next 4 days or face being homeless at the end of the tenancy.

    I have no idea what the former landlord said and have no way of rebuking it. I have offered to pay a year up front on the new tenancy but the landlord still said no. At the end of that tenancy I was continually harassed by that landlord who was accessing the property 4-6 days a week. I felt completely harassed at the time and made a report to the police to have on record should anything happen. He did a lot of wierd things like asked me to surrender the tenancy early, and then after signing the surrender document, I moved out early and he then claimed because HE hadn't signed the early surrender it wasn't valid - I therefore was tricked into moving out early and then stuck with 2 leases for some time.

    I have accepted my dream property is now gone but going forward I feel something should be done. Do I have any right to report the landlord or take legal action. I am utterly amazed that a bad landlord from a year ago has the right to completely ruin my reputation and negatively affect my access to housing, and I have no idea what was said.

    Thanks for reading.


    I wonder if you could ask for a copy of the reference under Freedom of Information ?

    It sounds very odd. Perhaps he's mixed you up with somebody else.


      You say you have a copy of a good reference he wrote which allowed you to take on your current tenancy - first thing would have been to send that with your application - and then any new LL can decide who is telling the truth.

      The fact that the previous LL kept renewing your tenancy would suggest you were a good tenant.

      You didn't really do yourself any favours by giving in to his demands to keep large parts of your deposit though as it indicates "issues".

      Personally, I would do as suggested above and put in a FOI / Data Access Request to all parties involved. I would also check that they are registered with the ICO too.

      It sounds ike you have no money issues so I would seriously consider legal action against the previous LL - he cannot write that you are a good tenant and then say you arent lol


        Sounds like a terrible experience! Remember that the LL is also a trader under consumer protection law & that you have rights under the Consumer protection from unfair trading 2008 which you can enforce under the 2014 Regulations - Misleading info/omissions/professional due diligence/good faith etc


          Subject Access Request is also a good idea - Is LL registered with ICO? - Did the LL protect your deposit? Rogue's normally don't cover their backs!


            I think references are excluded from the Act re FOI.



              Hi there. By the end I just wanted to be rid of the landlord. I still have the email correspondence which he sent me - the deductions really are for cleaning a blind and one broken shelf. With hindsight £200 is an excessive deduction for this but I wanted to move on and just agreed. No other damage or issues were on the deposit claim (the landlord has to submit why he is taking deposit and these were the submitted findings).

              I had sent the referencing agency the original reference and advised them to also contact my current landlord to verify this was sent by him. It was still no good and whatever was said clearly really spooked the landlord to a position where a whole years upfront payment still could not secure this property

              I will try and contact the referencing company for GDPR. The issue is I don't want to contact the landlord directly to request their information (its one of those huge corporate landlords) because I don't want to be a nuisance if that makes sense. I'll have to let from someone else for a year and then hopefully with 2 recent consistent references they may reconsider in the future but I feel it makes me look problematic if now having been refused I start serving them with legal notices for information.


                Originally posted by LeeMac View Post
                Subject Access Request is also a good idea - Is LL registered with ICO? - Did the LL protect your deposit? Rogue's normally don't cover their backs!

                Hi. The deposit was protected in a scheme. As I mentioned the tenancy lasted 6 years and with some notable exceptions it was mostly fine. He is a strange person. To state my hunch, for some reason myself and others think my ending the tenancy was something he took personally for whatever reason and he is harbouring feelings which have nothing to do with my tenancy.

                I've racked my brain as to what a landlord could possibly say. I paid on time always, quarterly and in advance. The three findings from after I vacated - some dust under a radiator, a dirty blind and one broken shelf I feel cannot be grounds to call a tenant a bad tenant after 6 years (he inspected the flat every year and would also attend - and sometimes stay - when tradesmen needed to come for maintenance) so there is no way the place was kept poorly.

                I feel referencing should be treated in the same way as deposits with a scheme and arbitration. Because of this person's word of mouth statement (changing wildly within the space of a year, when I haven't been there) I have lost the flat and access to my plan B and C as they were from the same landlord as plan A. I would not be foolish enough to put down an old landlord who I had a major problem with for referencing. I even have 2 other landlords from the same building (there are only 10 flats) willing to vouch that I was not a problem tenant.

                Sorry to vent... my lease ends in 2 weeks, we are in lockdown, and I've been put in a terrible position. I have no doubt his reference was malicious, but the exact legal recourse seems uncertain.


                  The original reference from almost a year to the day ago:
                  Attached Files


                    That reference seems fine. You will need to make a stronger case with the agents based on some of the suggestions above

                    Originally posted by Pipedreams1 View Post
                    having paid over £150,000 or rent to him on time over 6 years
                    I wonder if this qualifies you to have to pay stamp duty on the rental?


                      Have finally gotten to the root of the issue and it most definitely isn't me. Recieved totally creepy and inappropriate response when I tried to follow up on the next reference request


                        Show that to the agent of the property you want to rent by way of explanation.


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