How Do I Interpret a Tenant Credit Check?

A Tenant Credit Check combines a comprehensive identity check with a credit score and adverse information checks.

Where is the Credit Check Information Sourced?

We source the credit check data from Equifax which is one of three credit reference agencies (CRA) in the UK. The others are Experian and TransUnion.

The information is supplied by local councils, banks, credit cards, lenders, telecoms and utility companies to the CRAs who collate the information and supply it to credit check supplier such as ourselves.

Most of the information held by the CRAs relates to how individuals have maintained their credit and service/utility accounts. It also includes details of previous addresses and information from public sources such as the electoral roll, public records including county court judgments, and bankruptcy and insolvency data.

The information held by the CRAs is also used to verify the identity, age and residency of individuals, to identify and track fraud, to combat money laundering and to help recover payment of debts. Government bodies may also access this credit data to check that individuals are entitled to certain benefits and to recover unpaid taxes and similar debts.

Credit reference agencies are licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Identity Verification

The identity verification performs several checks which are grouped into three categories, Residency, Identity and Alerts.

The minimum requirement for an identity to be verified is:

  • 2 Residency matches
  • 1 Identity match and
  • 0 Alerts

Anything less than a score of 2-1-0 will result in the identity not being verified.

If the identity is not verified then you should obtain more information such as a bank or credit card statement. You should also get photographic identification such as a driving licence or passport.

Zero Matches

Sometimes a report shows zero matches of the individual to the address. This usually means the individual does not reside at that address or they have moved there so recently that records have not yet been updated.

We would not recommend granting a tenancy in this scenario without a guarantor.

Credit Score

The credit score is a numerical score between 0 and 500. It is calculated using a combination of factors such as payment history; the amount of debt the individual has and the length of their credit history.

The score may be interpreted as follows:

  • 0-99 - Very High Risk - not likely to be a suitable tenant
  • 100-199 - High Risk - could be a suitable tenant with extra protections such as a guarantor
  • 200-299 - Medium Risk - should be a suitable tenant
  • 300-399 - Low Risk - likely to a suitable tenant
  • 401-500 - Very Low Risk - likely to be a good tenant

Electoral Register

Details of the individual and associates on the electoral register at the address will be included if there are any matches.

The Tenant Credit Check only shows details of people who are on the open (edited) register, not details of the full register. If a person has opted out of the public electoral register, they will not be shown on a tenant credit check.

You can find more information on the electoral register here:

Aliases and Associates

The report will check to see if the subject has any aliases and will check for any financial associates.

Linked Addresses

The report will attempt to find addresses linked to the report subject such as previous addresses. You can click through to see more information on the person the address such as Electoral Roll and Court and Insolvency Information.

Linked addresses are all the addresses that the individual or any of their financial associates have lived at and where they have taken out a credit agreement. Past and present addresses become linked when:

  • You have provided a company your current and previous address and they do a credit search against both of them.
  • You tell a lender that you've moved, the next time they update your account information they will link your current and your old address
  • Linked address information remains on the credit report indefinitely

Court and Insolvency Information

Details of any bankruptcies, insolvencies or County Court Judgments (includes CCJ or IVA). These stay on the credit report for 6 years.

You can see the Court that issued the judgement and whether the CCJ has been satisfied.

CCJs are assigned type codes so you can tell what they are for:

Code Description
ADO Administration Order
BKY Bankcrupty Order
CD Court Decree (Scotland)
CJ County Court Judgement (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
CJP County Court Judgement Paid
DAS Deed of Arrangement
DRO Debt Relief Order
PTD Petition for Discharge of Sequestration
SQA Sequestration Actioned
VAR Voluntary Liquidation

Notices of Correction

Statements to explain potentially misleading information.

More help: Letting Your Property