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Referencing / Right to Rent Checks

Who is checked

All adults to be resident in the property will typically be referenced.

Who undertakes the referencing checks

Checks are either undertaken by the Landlord, their agents, or by a specialist third party referencing company. 

In either case, you'll need to give your consent for these checks to be undertaken. 

Types of references taken

References will commonly include credit checks, checks on employment status and income. Income checks will be verified either via an employer’s reference, or in the case of self-employed applicants, from their accounts. Tenants will normally have to prove their ability to afford the rent either through income or savings.

References may also be sought from previous Landlords and banks. 


In the event that the referencing checks only show a conditional pass there may be a requirement for a guarantor.

A guarantor would usually be a close friend or family member who would agree to be responsible for any outstanding payments if the tenant should default on the rent.

As such, a guarantor would need to sign a Deed of Guarantee Agreement and be subject to the same referencing checks as the tenant. 

NB This may incur additional administrative charges to cover the guarantor referencing process.

Right to Rent

As of 1st Feb 2016, new tenancies for main homes in England have been subject to Right to Rent checks on all adults intending to live in the property.

The test consists of checking documentation to prove that an individual has the right to live in the UK and, therefore, has a right to rent. Examples of documents proving a person’s right to live in the UK include:

  • UK passport
  • Certificate of naturalization or registration as a British citizen
  • EEA/Swiss national passport or ID card
  • Registration document certifying permanent residence of EEA/Swiss national.

OR a combination of: 

  • UK birth certificate
  • A letter from HM Prison Service
  • A letter of attestation from employers, higher education establishments or from UK passport holders working in acceptable professions.

NB This is not an exhaustive list.

In some circumstances, individuals will have the right to rent for a limited time only. In this instance a follow-on Right to Rent check will need to be undertaken a short time before the expiration of that time-limited period.