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How to Pass a Tenant Referencing Check

May 02, 2022

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Finding your dream rental is usually the easiest and most enjoyable part of moving. But writing your rental application and undergoing tenant referencing isn’t quite as much fun. Unfortunately, it’s all part of the process. If you’re wondering what a letting agent checks during tenant referencing, here’s an overview of how tenant referencing checks work, plus our tips on how to pass.

What is Tenant Referencing?

Tenant referencing is the name given to the checks a landlord or letting agent carries out before accepting your rental application, and often carried out by a third party, in our case, Canopy or Legal for Landlords.

Some aspects of tenant referencing are required by law (like checking you have the right to rent in the UK), but most simply provide reassurance to landlords that you can afford the rent and treat their property well.

What is Checked During Tenant Referencing?

During tenant referencing, your landlord or letting agent will check three main things, including your:

  • Right to rent

  • Affordability

  • Credit history

Some letting agents like ourselves check several other things during tenant referencing, too, which can include:

  • Renting history

  • References from previous landlords

  • Credit history of any guarantors you’ve provided

During tenant referencing, you’ll usually need to provide personal information (like your full name and current address), recent payslips, an employment contract and proof of any benefit income you get.

How to Pass a Tenant Referencing Check


Most people fail tenant referencing because of financially related issues. The easiest way to avoid this is to talk candidly with your estate agent about your savings and income. They can help you apply to properties you can afford and suggest solutions.


Having issues on your rent records (like missed payments) can feel embarrassing, but it’s best not to hide them. Being upfront about issues with your finances or renting history saves time and allows an objective view to be taken. Plus, getting caught in a lie can mean you’ll lose your holding deposit – so it’s better to be honest.


Credit score websites usually keep up to date with changes in your history, but things get missed all the time. Issues can still appear on your record when they shouldn’t and some of your financial history can display incorrectly. Before you apply for a new rental, run a quick check of your credit score and fix any issues asap.

Better yet, use a service form Canopy to check this for you, completely free. Canopy lets renters prove they’re reliable without having to fill in any paperwork meaning you can move in faster and easier. You can do these checks yourself, through Pre-Vetting, and landlords would more likely favour an offer from a prospective tenant who has been Pre-Vetted over someone who has not.


If your financial situation isn’t ideal, consider arranging a guarantor. This is someone that can pay the rent for you if you miss a payment. It’s best to ask someone you trust to be a guarantor – like a family member, partner or close friend.

Looking For a New Rental?

If you’re looking for a new rental in Chorlton or Greater Manchester, we’d love to help. Property Genius are your local property experts and our friendly team can help you find your next rental.

Call us today on 0161 881 3028 or email us at contactus@property-genius.co.uk to register your details and receive alerts about the latest properties.