Homeppl: The biggest tenant referencing mistakes… and how to avoid them

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Guest blog by Homeppl, tenant referencing software that provides innovative, intelligent, and comprehensive tenant referencing services at scale.


We all make mistakes, we’re human after all. However, when it comes to screening tenants these mistakes can result in big consequences for you and your landlords. For instance, a fraudulent tenant costs landlords around £33,000 in rent lost, damages and legal fees!

Your top priorities are supplying your landlords with great tenants and not leaving the property vacated for any amount of time. Sometimes this is a big ask. On top of that any prospective tenants need to be referenced before they even pay their deposit. This delays the process even further.

In this guide we go through some of the top mistakes made when checking tenants and offers some advice on how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Rushing tenants through without full checks to fill accommodation swiftly

We’re all in a rush to get things done and be more efficient, but sometimes rushing can result in things falling through the cracks. Missing any part of the tenant screening process can mean you house a tenant that is unfit for that property. This could be because they can’t really afford the rent, they’re planning on fraudulently subletting the property or they cause damages. All of these result in massive costs for landlords.

Tip: There’s no simple answer to this. Being under pressure from landlords to fill their rentals is part of day-to-day life, however, putting different processes in place to quicken tenant checking may be the answer. These processes will be different agency to agency, but incorporating as much automation and technology into the processes will quicken check times and get you your positives or negative results a lot sooner.

Mistake 2: Not validating documents thoroughly

When someone fills in a tenant application, submits their documents and shares their references it’s vital this information is validated. You know that! But how far does your validation go? For instance, there’s the basics: checking if the workplace they submitted is real via a Companies House. But you could go further and complete a document analysis looking at things like creation of a document and author to check they haven’t been forged.

Tip: Going deeper with your checks is the answer. Depending on your current set up this might mean a variety of things. For example, as mentioned, adding more steps in your document approvals process. This could also include domain registration reviews to double check the prospective tenant’s employer details are real.

Mistake 3: Just using human eyes

Doing tenant screening inhouse is great, it saves time as well as budget. But does your team have the tools to really carry out a thorough check? Screening should really include data validation, behavioural and document analysis. Is the team capable of fulfilling all these things which are necessary in modern tenant screening?

Relying on human eyes means there’s bound to be things missed that technology wouldn’t. These errors could have massive consequences, and even result in loosing landlords.

Tip: Equip your teams with the right tools and technology to do their jobs, and do them well. Research what tools suit your agency and its set up, and make sure they integrate into your day-to-day routine rather than adding to the tech stack. This will allow you to back-up your ‘human’ checks with tech to ensure all your decisions are the right ones.

Mistake 4: Relying on credit check agencies

Credit scoring is an outdated way to check tenants. Good tenants might only have a thin credit file so it’s vital to go further to check if someone is the right fit. This means asking for more information and assessing it in the right way. If you don’t do this you could be missing out on tenants and filling your landlords’ properties.

Tip: But how do you go further? Well, asking for and compiling further details in your tenant check. This could include asking people to connect to Open Banking for example. On top of this, not manually vetting them (more on this next).

Mistake 5: Doing a manual affordability update

Today technology needs to take centre stage when assessing affordability. Manual assessments can result in errors, whereas tech can be relied upon. Plus, the automation of this process will decrease check times – making you more efficient and effective.

Tip: The answer is – use the technology available to you. This will ensure affordability is properly assessed. Bank statements can be scanned, payslips looked over in no time at all. Make sure this tech works for you and gives you the results you need, be it turnaround times, fraud tests or super document analysis.

To sum up

Making these mistakes? Don’t worry! As you’ve seen they can be resolved, and your tenant checking will be 5*.

Just remember: Don’t rush applications, validate all the information you have and use the tools available to you as much as possible.

Then you’re all set!


Guest blog by Homeppl, tenant referencing software that provides innovative, intelligent, and comprehensive tenant referencing services at scale.

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