Hazards of using a tenant referencing service

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  • wouldbebuyer
    started a topic Hazards of using a tenant referencing service

    Hazards of using a tenant referencing service

    I've used {Mod - company name removed} through openrent to perform "full" referencing on a prospective tenant. The reference report came back positive - reccomending I proceed without need for guarantor etc.

    I was tempted to proceed but still slightly uneasy due to the income being on the 2.5x rental threshold so requested recent bank statements. These left me uneasy again when I saw the number of debits for credit cards and personal loans. So i requested a copy of an Experian report from the tenant directly.

    Turns out the tenant has almost 5 figure debt and worse has been growing rapaidly and consistently for the last year or so. It seems black and white to me that this is a terrible prospect as ever-growing debt is being used to fund day to day living. This is totally unsustainable and i don't want this proverbial to hit the fan while they are renting my property.

    So it seems the referencing has totally failed me. Worse I could have proceeded after they rubber stamped it - and i suspect many would have done. I'm not sure this issue is solely limited to {Mod - company name removed} though. I've made a few inquiries to alternative companies (including the recommended tenantverify) but it seems none disclose total debt level (unless there are CCJs).

    I know that online referencing is never going to cover every single minuscule factor but a substantial and ever growing debt-to-income level should surely be flagged if not cause an outright fail.

    So my questions:

    1- Are there any tenant referencing agencies who do disclose debt levels?

    2- Whats the best way to identify /weed out individuals with high debt? (it seems intrusive to ask for an experian report for an apparently good prospect esp as they have already had a credit check!)

    3- Which referencing agency do you use/prefer and why?

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