Being a private landlord can be a challenging pastime, particularly when it comes to selecting tenants and understanding the rights and obligations in this respect.
Fortunately, there’s some relatively clear guidance in this respect, as it’s completely unlawful to discriminate against any potential tenant based on their age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, disability, race or religion.
Whilst this is a given for landlords, however, there are a number of viable reasons for them to refuse a tenant’s application. We’ve outlined some of these below:
- The Tenant Doesn’t Make Enough Money
This may sound harsh, but all tenancy applications require individuals to submit financial details including their monthly income.
In instances where this sum is less than or barely more than the rent, you have the right as a landlord to refuse their application. In general, the tenant’s income should be three-times the price of the rent, although this can be combined across two people in the case of a joint application.
If an applicant earns less than this amount, you can still decide to grant them the tenancy if you wish. This may be viable if you have rent guarantee insurance from a provider such as Homelet, as this will cover the cost of the rent if it goes unpaid. A suggested procedure to make the screening convenient is by using a digital tenant referencing tool where all requirements you might need are provided by this new platform.
- The Tenant has a Pet
This also sounds a little harsh, but as the landlord owns the property (and in some instances, the furnishings), he has the legal right to prohibit the tenant from bringing a pet into the house.
There are many reasons for this; whether you’re concerned about long-term damage or the potential noise and allergy concerns posed to other tenants in the building.
Either way, you refuse the tenant’s right to bring a pet with them, and the majority of landlords choose to impose this rule in the UK (although an exception must be made for guide dogs).
- The Tenants Income Isn’t Verified
Back on the subject of income, you also have the right to refuse tenancy if they refuse to disclose their earnings or provide employer references.
If they refuse to do both of these requirements, landlords are likely to assume that they’ve lied about being in employment and will subsequently reject their application.
- The Tenant has no Credit History
If you’ve ever completed a rental application, you’ll be aware that most agents will run a credit check to verify your suitability as a tenant.
As with most credit checks, you’re likely to fail this if you have no credit history at all, as this makes it impossible for lenders to gauge your risk profile and make an informed decision.
In this case, landlords and agents can refuse the application lawfully, so it’s important to keep this in mind when leasing out property.
- The Tenant Provides False Information
We close with a no-brainer, as landlords can automatically refuse applications when it’s proven that the potential tenant has included false information.
We’ve already touched on this when discussing earnings, but tenants who are found to have lied on their application cause considerable uncertainty and make landlords unsure about what else they may be lying about.
Ultimately, trust is an important consideration when renting out your home, and it’s crucial that you only deal with tenants who you can rely on.