Tenant checks on criminal records

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    Tenant checks on criminal records

    Hi,

    Do landlords check for criminal records and convictions from tenants.
    What sort of questions do you ask?
    Are you entitled to ask such questions?

    How can you check up these persons, in case they are lying?

    Has any LL evicted a tenant because of false claims of convictions on a tenancy application?

    #2
    Sorry to ask but are you actually doing anything dodgy to ask all these questions ?

    Because if you're not then you can sue for libel anyone who says you do.

    And when it comes to convictions I would have guessed it would be an official paper from the police or government so you can't really accuse them of lying.

    Comment


      #3
      Wondering what rights a LL has in asking AND gaining answers.

      What the experiences are of both LL and Tenants in having to disclose such things when making a tenancy agreement.

      Furthermore, what obligations does a tenant have to disclose charges to his/her LL during a tenancy agreement.
      Is it feasible to add such issues into an agreement?

      Comment


        #4
        Tenant Checks

        Unlike in the USA where criminal record checks can be done instantly on-line as a matter of routine, in the UK the situation is much more difficult.
        As far as I am aware criminal records are not accessible to private individuals or companies: they are only accessible to prescribed organisations and occupations such as education, airlines etc.
        Also, the process is very slow - can take weeks - and from what we read in the press the accuracy of police data-bases on this have been highly suspect in the past - perhaps this is changing?
        As far as I am aware, and this is my interpretation of the Data Protection Act rules, you are perfectly at liberty to ask questions of tenants regarding criminal convictions.
        Landlords and agents need to be increasingly vigilant on these matters and need to devise and follow rigourous systems to screen out fraudsters - see these articles:
        The LandlordZONE Tenancy Application Form is one example:
        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/application.pdf
        See also the Article: Identity Theft and Identity Fraud -
        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/blog/ (24/4/05)
        And also the section on Tenant Screening at:
        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/tenant_screening.htm

        Comment


          #5
          Cheers.
          Is this a standard form of tenancy application?

          Furthermore, can you tell me whether 'spent' convictions have to be disclosed, and whether LL have a right to ask such questions - either on the form or by other means.

          Comment


            #6
            I am in the process of applying for an Australian Visa and one of the 'hoops' that I've had to jump through was to provide a certificate from the police that I have no record (Apparently its no longer compulsary in order to get into Aus').


            It was a straight forward procedure and cost me about £25. You could ask a prospective tenant to aquire such a certificate from the police if you were worried.

            Comment


              #7
              How about charges and police cautions.

              Do these have to be discosed to a LL DURING or BEFORE a tenancy agreement.
              How about electronic tagging or being placed on an offenders register.

              Comment


                #8
                Landlord Checks

                An interesting debate. I 've just got rid of our "tenant from hell", caught him stealing our washing machine, t. drier and fridge from the property he "rented" from me. He had not paid rent for the previous three months and following the section 8, was on his way to court.
                The arresting police knew him, turns out that he was a heroin addict. I then discovered that he had served part of a three year sentence for robbery, and was out under licience. Of course, it then follows that no bills were being paid, he was out of work, numerous documents strewen around the house recorded his convictions for driving without a driving licience no tax, no MOT etc.etc etc..
                He was found by the letting agency, checked, and recommended by them to him ..... just four months previously.
                They deny any responsibility!
                What do you think?

                Comment

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