5 things Letting Agents should ask Tenant Referencing Companies.

Tags: Letting Agents, tenant referencing

Title Tag: Tenant Referencing Companies – 5 Letting Agents Queries

Landlords are essential to any letting agent business. Every effort should be made by letting agents to not only satisfy existing landlords but also to try and encourage new landlords to use their services. It should also be remembered that not only should the landlord be satisfied but so should the tenant.

The role a referencing company plays in this market cannot be understated; get the reference right and everyone is happy; get it wrong and all parties suffer from a sub-standard service.

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of tenant referencing companies  springing up to offer their services. To the uninitiated eye, most seem credible. However, by asking the following questions, you will have more of an understanding of the effect a particular company will have on your business:

1.    Does the company apply common sense grading?

All too often, letting agents receive recommendations as a result of a formulaic point scored computer process. Whilst these systems are easy to create, they are often inaccurate, incomplete, miss vital information, and do not allow for applications to be jointly assessed.

The referencing company should possess experienced personnel who are able to apply the personal touch and in cases where the property application involves more than one prospective tenant, the referencing company should jointly assess the application.

2.    How does the referencing company protect your business?

From the outset, the referencing company should be protecting your business by eliminating rogue tenancy applications. To have the ability to identify the less than honest individual, the referencing company will need an intelligent system, experience and the ability to establish the true position.

Once the application has been approved, tenancy issues can still arise. In these situations, does the referencing company try to resolve the problem or do they just refer to a disclaimer?

3.    Are the referencing reports produced clear, concise and easy to understand?

The reports produced bycompanies working on behalf of landlords and letting agencies can prove to be extremely confusing, containing credit scores, demographic data, and vague N/A answers. 

Ideally, the reports should be narrative and easy to read and therefore possess the ability to be understood by all of the interested parties.

4.    Is the referencing service also made available directly to landlords?

You have worked hard to obtain your landlords. Some of the tenant referencing companies also work for landlords; what is stopping a direct relationship occurring?

5.    Does the company offer great value?

Upon clarifying the above points, you will have more of an understanding of the service you can expect to receive. Once you have been given the price for referencing, remember to check to see if any additional charges are made for companies, guarantors, overseas cases and applications that are urgent.

Is rent and legal protection available and if so, what is the cost? Note - this can also be a very good gauge as to the standard of referencing, as there is a clear correlation between referencing and Legal & Rent protection charges. 

If the answers to the above points are giving you cause for concern, then click here .