The accidental landlord
SHE would make a 24-carat tenant, I was sure. I had found someone with a cracking job, a high salary and such an angelic face I didn’t think it likely she was hiding some shocking secret or a criminal past. So I was a bit stumped when she failed the credit check.
When I read through the report from the referencing agency, I saw that her employer had verified that her earnings were more than enough to comfortably cover the rent. Her previous addresses had been confirmed, she had cleared the ID check and she had no County Court Judgments against her. So what on earth could be the problem?
The problem was that her previous landlord had failed to give her a reference. The referencing agency had made several attempts to contact the landlord over the course of a week, but she had ignored them.
After the third email failed to elicit a response, the agency had given up. They probably thought they had done enough for their £20 fee. However, the lack of a landlord reference meant they ruled that the tenant posed an “unacceptable risk”.
I was advised by the referencing agency to ask the applicant for a guarantor if I wanted to proceed with the tenancy.
This seemed an extreme measure for someone who was so clearly capable of affording the rent, so instead I asked the tenant to persuade her landlord to contact me direct. When the call came the landlord told me my applicant had been an “exemplary” tenant, she’d always paid her rent on time and looked after the property.
I wonder if this landlord realised how close her “exemplary” tenant came to losing my property because she couldn’t be bothered to give her a reference.
The landlord’s excuse for ignoring the emails and phone calls from the referencing agency was that she had been busy. Well, we are all busy — but seriously, how busy do you have to be to not be able to take one phone call or send a quick email? I have occasionally come across landlords