When a prospective tenant finds a home they love, they want to be able to sign the contract and move in as soon as possible. Completing tenant referencing is one of the most important steps that must take place before signing the contract, so it is essential that this happens as soon as possible. Once the landlord or tenant referencing agency has received the necessary documents and permission, tenant referencing should not take more than 48 hours. Actually, depending on who is in charge of the referencing, it can be from a few hours to a few days.
According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), carrying out credit checks, collecting references, and attending viewings can take an average of eight hours to complete. However, in some cases, this can take a number of days or even weeks to conclude. The group also pointed out that even though most agencies make use of a standard tenancy agreement format, drawing up an agreement can take up to five hours. All of these build up to what may delay the signing of contract. Additionally, an average of seven or eight hours is needed for miscellaneous paperwork and administration. All in all, tenant referencing can take up to 48 hours before it is complete. This timeline however is not etched in stone. A lot of other factors can contribute to a long delay such as:
- Delay in proof of employment – Tenant referencing can get delayed if the employer of the prospective tenant takes too long to respond to a request for proof of employment. Proof of employment is an important factor in tenant referencing. Most companies have a ready-made template that employees can send to their employer or supervisor to complete, and this can be accepted as a proof of employment. But where the prospective tenant is self employed or a freelancer, this can be a problem.
- Landlord reference – Another factor that can delay tenant referencing is when the prospective tenant’s current or former landlord is delayed in sending in their reference. Most landlords, due to their busy schedule, will not be able to respond on time, and this delay will slow down the referencing process.
- Conflicting information – Most of the time, due to one reason or another, the information submitted by the prospective tenant and the one submitted by their employer or former landlord is conflicting. When conflicting information like this is detected, it can slow down the process while further checks are carried out to determine the veracity of the information submitted.
The best tenant referencing agencies have tons of experience in tenant referencing and have perfected the process to make it as smooth, efficient, and quick as possible. As long as the prospective tenant can provide the information needed as soon as possible, the process can be carried out and completed within the stated 48 hours. However, if there is an issue on the part of the tenant, either through delay in sending information, or sending in conflicting information, the process will surely slow down and may take days, if not weeks.