Why are my references taking so long?

Q.  I am trying to rent a property and the reference agency that the estate agent is using seem to be taking forever to complete the process which has now resulted in a delay in my moving in. I keep calling the agent to find out what is going on and they are referring me back to the outstanding issues on my case and asking for my assistance to speed things along, surely that’s for them to sort out, I just want to move in?

A.  Given the immense responsibility resting on agents shoulders now with the many compliance issues that they have to adhere to surrounding ‘The right to rent act’ and the ‘Anti-money laundering regulations’ most agents have resorted to outsourcing their referencing to specialist companies who can carry out the due diligence that is required to ensure that they not only protect their client, their Landlord but also remain compliant with the latest legislation surrounding rentals. The issue that reference companies have is that they too are reliant on third parties to provide the information that they require in order to make the relevant checks on tenants to produce the report and this is where your help can prove to be invaluable. By default, you will need to have provided the agency with your previous Landlords details as well as details for your current employer. They will then reach out to them for the required information to confirm your status at the current property as well as retract confirmation of earnings from HR at your place of employment. If you can speak to HR yourself and inform them that you are currently in the process of renting a new home and need their assistance in replying promptly when the reference company reach out to them this at least gives them a ‘heads up’ that they should be expecting this which will prompt them to make a swift reply. Also, it’s always best where possible to give an actual named person to speak to in HR and include a direct number and email for them, it will take them all of five minutes to respond to the reference agency and confirm your details but if they are not expecting it, its likely to be put to the bottom of the pile on their desk creating issues for you and delaying your move in. You can also do exactly the same with your current Landlord, let him know and make sure you have given all his best contact details to the agency, so they can get in touch easily. Its actually nothing more complicated than that, but you really can play a large part in pushing this through by keeping everyone in the loop.

 

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