Frequently asked questions


How long does it take to receive a Report?

Each application is managed by one dedicated analyst which leads to efficient processing & swift turnaround times. It is important to note however that reference collection/validation can delay processing times as the availability and participation of referees is out of our control.
We aim to deliver Advanced Reports within 2 days however this is subject to the availability and response times of referees.
Should you require a faster response we advise you to use our Priority Advanced service which is processed same day provided the application is submitted before 12.00 noon (Mon-Fri). Commercial Reports are delivered within 3 working days however accountant & solicitor references can take upto 7 business days to collect.
Express Reports are delivered within 2 hours (When submitted Mon - Fri 09.00 - 1500).
International Reports are delivered 3-4 business days following submission subject to referee availability.

How do I submit a prospective tenant's details?

Your prospective tenant's information should be entered online or via fax. First time users must register their details with Rentchecks.com before a Report can be ordered.
It is possible to print off a copy of a blank form. This can be completed by the applicant or yourself and faxed to 0844 273 0175. Forms submitted via fax, must be clearly completed in capitals.
Applications can be submitted via e-mail & must be sent to apply@rentchecks.com. Our General Tenancy Application form is available on interactive PDF (www.rentchecks.com/forms.asp). This enables the applicant to complete & submit the application online.

Do I need permission from my prospective tenant?

To comply with the Data Protection Act (1998) and to prevent the misuse of this service, you must obtain a verbal authorisation from the applicant before you conduct personal checks via Rentchecks.com
You do not need a signed authorisation from the applicant to use this service however when collecting information from the applicant in person it is advisable to use our forms (available to printout on the home page) as these allow the applicant to provide a signed authorisation for your records.


Note:

Our responsibility is to ensure that the information provided to us is of direct relevance to the agreement in question. We are dedicated to protecting the privacy of applicant's data and conduct regular checks to ensure that unauthorised access to personal information is identified.

How do you obtain references?

Our advanced checks ensure that the referee is a legitimate individual who is well placed to provide a fair assessment of the applicant's character, employment status or previous history.
Once we have attempted to authenticate the referee we contact them via telephone/fax/e-mail to obtain a reference. If we do not believe that a referee is in a position to provide an accurate and useful opinion as to the applicant's suitability for the agreement in question, this will be outlined within the Report.
Previous landlords are authenticated by checking their name against the Land Registry whilst agents are identified via their business name.
Employers are validated by confirming the company/director details prior to any contact.

Which references should I request?

Ideally references should be taken from the applicant's employer and current landlord. Where the applicant is not in employment or is self-employed a character reference should be included from someone that is well placed to provide an opinion as to the applicant's good character eg. an ex-employer or accountant/solicitor.
Family members and friends can be requested, however these referees are unlikely to provide a balanced and reliable picture of the applicant's character and reliability.
If your prospective tenant does not have suitable referees, please contact us for further advice.

I require the collection of a banker's reference, how long does it take?

Banker's references are generally returned via standard mail, therefore a minimum period of 7 working days must be allowed before the reference (or summary) is forwarded.
NB: An additional charge of 25 + VAT is made for written banker's references.
Some banks may refuse to provide a reference. No refund can be provided as branch policy is not known until the request has been made.
We cannot guarantee to collect a banker's reference within a set timescale as we are constrained by the time that it takes the bank to respond.

What data do you consider when processing Reports?

A Rentchecks Report is not merely a credit check. Data is carefully analysed from several reliable databases including:
Dun & Bradstreet
RSA High Risk Tenant Repository
Equifax Locate Services
Call Credit Consumer Scoring Systems
International Data Bureaus

In addition, each applicant is scored using risk assessment algorithms based on their payment and credit file history.
The applicant's ability to pay the rent is also factored into this score. Referees are contacted directly and data that may not have been disclosed by the applicant is investigated fully to ensure that the individual is suitable to enter into the agreement under consideration.

What is the difference between a Rentchecks Report and other referencing agencies?

Rentcheck's aim is to ensure that the prospective tenant is suitable to enter the agreement under consideration.
In our opinion a suitable tenant is one who pays the rent on time and cares for the property responsibly.

Whereas many referencing agencies are looking to provide insurance cover to landlords, we would rather prevent a problem tenant than concentrate on the cure!

Each application is carefully considered by an experienced analyst to ensure the accuracy of our final decisions and recommendations.
Of course we cannot claim to predict the future however we can assess an applicant's past record alongside their current circumstances to create a highly reliable tenant risk assessment Report.
Our Reports are proven* by thousands of UK landlords and agents to prevent problem and unsuitable tenants.
*Based on Nov 2012 tenant delinquency data. Less than 0.02%

Which Report should I order?

The decision as to which Report you should order is one of personal preference.
The Advanced Report is our most popular solution as it offers a fully investigative solution including full income validation, 6 year credit history, landlord referencing & Guarantor validation (credit check) at no additional cost.
Priority Advanced is a same day Advanced check (must be submitted before 12.00 noon Mon-Fri).
Express Reports provide agents with a swift decision making tool. Whilst reference validation is not included, these Reports identify CCJ, Bankruptcy, IVAs, unsuitable and fraudulent tenants within 2 hours.
The Basic credit report does not include linked addresses, fraud or ID validation & should only be used to check for basic debt history at a specific address. Commercial Reports are available to those letting to corporate tenants. These Reports are designed to validate organisations including limited companies, sole traders, PLCs & charities.
Guarantor Reports are used solely to assess a prospective Guarantor's financial suitability.

Does a Rentchecks.com report leave a trace on the applicant's credit record?

Yes. Every Report leaves a record of a search on the applicant's credit reference record. This does not affect their ability to gain credit and has no bearing on any future applications. The entry will consist of the date searched and the nature of the search. Eg 'Rentchecks.com tenant vetting'.

Can I check the progress of an application?

Yes. Once a Report has been submitted, the registered user panel displays the current status of each Report. A summary of each completed Report is available online for 30 days after it has been delivered.

How is my Report delivered to me?

Reports are delivered to the user's E-mail address. This is the address provided during registration. Before submitting an application, users are given the option to select other delivery methods including fax, post and SMS (mobile text).
Express Reports can be delivered verbally via the telephone if requested.

How do I pay for a Report?

Before a Report can be processed, users must purchase Report credits. Each credit purchased enables one Report to be ordered. By following the 'Purchase' link, registered users can select the number of credits that they wish to purchase. There is no minimum order.
Users with several properties may prefer to purchase multiple credits. A discount is applied to purchases of 5 or more Report credits.
Credits can also be purchased with a credit or debit card by telephoning 0845 095 0055.

Which payment methods do you accept?

Rentchecks.com uses NoChex secure card processing systems to accept credit and debit card payments. Cards accepted are: Visa, Mastercard, Solo, Switch, Delta, Electron and JCB.

Can I pay over the telephone?

Yes. Telephone 0845 095 0055 with a debit or credit card.

I do not have a credit or debit card. Can I still use your services?

Paypal is accepted. Users must visit paypal.co.uk and make a payment to username accounts@rentchecks.com.
Bank transfers and cheques are accepted. Please contact us for more details.

I am an agent, can you invoice me for Report credits?

Legitimate property agents can apply for an Agent Credit Account. This enables Reports to be ordered without the need to purchase credits upfront. A 30 day invoice is issued monthly to ensure a more efficient service for property professionals and regular users. An application can be requested online or telephone 0845 095 0055.

Can I cancel a Report before it is delivered?

Reports cannot be cancelled once they are queued for processing. If a mistake has been made and the form submitted, users should send an E-mail to apply@rentchecks.com immediately.

Can I obtain a refund for credits that I have purchased?

Unused credits can be refunded. Contact refunds@rentchecks.com within 7 days of the original purchase. It is recommended that users only purchase credits as and when they require them, as credits cannot be refunded after 7 days.

Do I have to complete every section of the application form?

No. Besides the essential information ie name, address and occupation, only complete those sections that are required. Eg If a reference is not required, leave this section blank.

A Report has been delivered and it recommends against accepting the applicant. What should I do?

Recommendations are made once our analysts have scrutinised an array of supporting data. An explanation of the reasoning behind each recommendation is included within the Report. Therefore if the Report suggests that the applicant is unsuitable to enter into a letting/lease agreement good reasons will be outlined. Rentchecks.com can only offer a recommendation to assist in reducing the risk of unsuitable tenants entering into an agreement. The final decision as to whether an individual is accepted remains with the landlord/agent. If an individual has been deemed to be unsuitable or high risk, Rentchecks will advise precautionary measures such as additional ID or a higher security deposit to reflect this decision.

I am a prospective tenant. Can I order a Report to show to potential landlords?

Yes. Rentchecks Reports are often ordered by individuals wishing to speed up tenancy applications. Landlords will generally prefer to offer a tenancy to an individual that has been pre-approved by Rentchecks.com. The validity of a Rentchecks.com Report is limited to a period of 3 months.
To check the authenticity of a Rentchecks.com report, E-mail the reference and result reference to apply@rentchecks.com

Can I validate foreign applicants?

If you have a prospective tenant from overseas you can order an International Report. We will validate and collect overseas references however credit data is limited in many countries so the information returned can vary from full credit history (eg USA) to no credit history (Eg Zimbabwe). Prospective Guarantor's living overseas cannot be included within an Advanced Report. A separate International Report must be ordered.

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