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Landlords Becoming More Selective

Landlords with expensive properties in central London are being more discriminating about who they will accept as tenants as they become concerned about the threat of rent defaults and periods of vacancy.

Letting agents are putting prospective tenants through rigorous credit checks as property owners want to see proof of income, including bonuses, as well as highly personal information such as the value of investment and share portfolios and savings accounts.

Knight Frank, the agent, said it had reviewed its reference process for new tenants to make sure it could provide enough data for landlords. Rather than using traditional credit checking agencies it is now conducting manual checks itself.

In some cases it is having to procure an indication of the tenants’ net wealth from their banks as well as guarantees from their employers that their jobs are permanent and not under threat, and details of their anticipated bonuses.

“This is a pretty radical change,” said David Mumby, who runs Knight Frank’s Chelsea office. “We are doing much more thorough checks as putting tenants through a reference company is simply not enough any more.”