Our policy for all tenancy applications is based on suitability, affordability, and referencing.
We expect all tenants to be able to afford the rent for the house or property they apply for. This applies to working tenants, students, or tenants in receipt of benefits. We use a standard criteria method for all tenants, which looks at the above three areas.
Are they suitable for the property? For example, a family of six isn’t ideal in a two bed family house. A long term unemployed tenant will not be a good fit in a house of working professionals or with students – their tenancy expectations may not fit in with shared house where the property is re-let to a new group every academic year. There may also be hazards that make a property unsuitable for someone with mobility issues or young children.
We always credit check and reference tenants, in fact it is a license requirement that we do so. This includes checking a prospective tenants credit history for previous CCJ’s, IVA’s and bankruptcy, securing a reference from current employers, as well as previous landlords. We will also need to see supporting evidence of your income and expenditure, to build a picture of affordability for the property.
In light of the above, we have a very clear policy not to discriminate against any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act.
We use industry standard methods to ascertain if the property is affordable. This is usually a gross annual salary of at least 30 times the monthly rent. In many cases, especially for the under 25s, we require a guarantor as standard. In other cases where affordability is marginal, we may request a guarantor. Income can be from various sources, so for example you may have 2 jobs, or a combination of salary and benefits or savings.
However, as our duty of care, we reserve the right to reject a tenants application, should we feel that their borderline affordability might result in them struggling to pay the rent.
Here’s a simple rent affordability calculator that you might find useful.
Rent Affordability Calculator
Please be mindful that this is just a guide but it will hopefully help you work out the types of properties you’ll be able to afford to rent.
For your information, we take into consideration savings and most benefits, so if you’re borderline on income for a particular property, it may still be affordable overall. Our referencing agency give the final decision, based on all the combined factors but you’re welcome to contact us to chat over any concerns you may have.