Arguably, the most important factor when letting the property is the prospective tenant. The whole success of letting depends on finding the right tenant. If an applicant wishes to proceed with a tenancy, we will assess their suitability.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 comes into force on 1 June 2019.  This dictates that in addition to paying rent for the property, the tenant is only responsible for the following permitted payments:

Before the tenancy starts: 

Holding Deposit: 1 week’s rent; and/or

Deposit: maximum of 5 weeks rent

During the tenancy:

Payments to other third parties: such as Council Tax, utilities or payments for communications services

Default Charges: such as payments for the replacement of lost keys or interest on overdue rent

Tenancy Transaction Charges: such as requests to vary or assign the tenancy


The reference costs will now have to be paid by the landlord.  Haystack Property Ltd aims to be clear and transparent to both landlords and tenants.  Rather than increase the tenancy set up fee or the monthly management fee paid by the landlord or the monthly rent paid by the tenant, the simple cost of refencing each tenant will be paid by the landlord.  This fee will be per tenant so the landlord is clear of the costs involved.

Haystack Property Ltd has been working with Rentshield Connect to conduct and complete all tenant referencing for many years.  This is to ensure the reference process is completed thoroughly and to give as much confidence as is possible to the landlord that their tenant is suitable.  In addition to all the standard checks, Rentshield Connect also cover:

Rentshield Default Tenant Check

Rentshield, together with Homelet are the UK’s largest provider of tenant referencing. They keep a database of tenants who have defaulted on rent protection policies and check any potential tenants against this database – which has around 14,000 records. If your applicant is found as a match on our database, this would be flagged to you, which could save a costly eviction process in the future.

Financial Sanctions Check

Rentshield check the tenant isn’t listed on any of the government’s asset freezing lists, as this could affect their ability to pay rent in the future.

Bank Validation

If the applicant supplies bank details, they will be checked to see if this is a live UK bank account – which could avoid you setting up a tenancy with phoney bank details.

CIFAS check

Rentshield check every potential tenant against CIFAS – if a CIFAS match is found, they may review how they handle the application, ie they may not accept supporting documents such as payslips from someone who has been a perpetrator of fraud. This intelligence will allow them to detect high risk tenants who pose a larger risk to a business and could be costly down the line.

IP Address Check

Their system recognises IP addresses for anything completed online. If a referee supplies a reference from the same IP as the applicant, our system will flag up to double check the reference, which could stop a potentially fraudulent reference

Employer Validation

Rentshield have a validation process whereby they check the employer details provided against what they can find online. If it doesn’t match, they ask for further details such as payslips and contract. Similarly, they don’t accept employment references from anything but a business email, unless it is provided on company headed paper. This is done to ensure the reference from a legitimate company.

All necessary legal paperwork, including an inventory, will be prepared and signed and any outstanding balances settled by the tenant before the tenancy commences.

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