The Purpose of Letting Agents Requesting Bank Statements

In the ever-changing world of real estate, staying up to date with the latest letting agent requirements can take time and effort. Nowadays, letting agencies conduct various checks to ensure prospective tenants are suitable candidates for renting a property. One request that makes prospective tenants uneasy is sharing personal bank statements. Our blog will delve into the purpose of a letting agent conducting a credit check by requesting bank statements and how this practice will result in a more secure letting experience for both landlords and tenants.

  • What Are Letting Agent Responsibilities?
  • Can Letting Agents Ask For Bank Statements?
  • Why Do Letting Agents Request Bank Statements?
  • Do I Have to Show My Bank Statements to Letting Agents?
  • Letting Agent Checks FAQs

What Are Letting Agent Responsibilities?

Letting agents offer varying levels of services for landlords depending on their needs. With a fully managed property, a letting agent essentially manages the day-to-day running of your home, such as:

  • Advertise the property to prospective tenants
  • Conduct tenant checks by requesting personal information
  • Develop a lease agreement
  • Collect rent
  • Carry out routine maintenance checks
  • Organise repairs
  • Bridge communication between landlords and tenants
  • Handle any issues and complaints

A letting agent will act accordingly on behalf of the landlord to ensure a smooth running of the property to maximise their investment.

Can Letting Agents Ask For Bank Statements?

To put it simply, yes. Letting agents can conduct appropriate checks on prospective tenants on behalf of a landlord. These checks can include:

  • Requesting recent bank statements or payslips
  • Running credit checks
  • Asking for references
  • Requesting an employment contract
  • Proof of benefit entitlement

Why Do Letting Agents Request Bank Statements?

Landlords rely on agents to make the appropriate checks to ensure that future tenants have the realistic means to pay their rent and bills in full and on time. It can be detrimental to a landlord if their tenant fails to pay their rent; therefore, conducting checks is essential to being a letting agent. 

Requesting bank statements does not always guarantee straightforward rent collection, as financial circumstances can change rapidly. However, it is a reliable way of assessing a tenant’s financial situation.

Homeppl (2023) reported that 91% of the fraud flagged in UK rental applications stemmed from prospective tenants modifying their financial statements or submitting fake documents to secure a rental property. To safeguard against this risk, agents will ask for multiple sources of information to cross-reference the bank statement, such as an employment contract or a reference.

If a tenant cannot pay their rent on time, especially on multiple occasions, a letting agent may have to issue a Section 8 eviction notice. The average cost of evicting a tenant in the UK is £1000 to £3000; landlords may be forced to pay a fee if their letting agent selects a tenant without cross-referencing their bank statements. Carrying out the appropriate checks is the best way to ensure that all parties involved are confident and secure in their agreement.

Do I Have to Show My Bank Statements to Letting Agents?

While letting agents are within their right to request bank statements, tenants are equally entitled to refuse to provide requested information. 

Although no one can force prospective tenants to disclose personal documents, it can influence the letting agents’ decision when selecting suitable candidates.

Letting agents cannot discriminate against prospective tenants unlawfully; however, they have the right to choose a tenant who can confidently provide bank statements and references that suggest they will reliably pay their rent on time.

Letting Agent Checks FAQs

Is it safe to share my bank statement with a letting agent?

Ensure you only share personal information, such as bank statements, with a trusted letting agency. For added security, cover over your account numbers when sharing your bank statements.

Will my credit score be affected if a letting agent runs a credit check?

Letting agencies can only carry out credit checks with your permission. A credit check will not affect your credit score, as letting agencies can only see publicly available information.

What happens if I don’t pass the checks?

If you fail to provide bank statements or pass a credit check, you could offer more rent in advance if possible or ask if you can provide a guarantor who will agree to pay the rent on your behalf if you cannot pay it for whatever reason. These may increase your chances of being selected as a tenant.

Choose LevelUp To Be Your Letting Agent

Unlock an unparalleled experience for both landlords and tenants with LevelUp. LevelUp’s residential property management service prides itself on a people-first approach in which meaningful relationships are fostered. You want to trust that your letting agent is striving to maximise your investment and remove the hassle of owning a rental property by conducting appropriate tenant checks and only selecting suitable tenants. LevelUp is not only a letting agent but also your partner throughout the entire property management process. Contact our team today, and we can discuss your needs.

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