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Referencing Criteria and Documents required

We are frequently asked the referencing criteria to be able to rent one of our properties – this guide will provide an overview. This is not a comprehensive guide, but should be used as an indication.

All of our landlords take out an insurance product, which protects them against any non-payments of rent. The insurers criteria for passing the referencing changes frequently, so please contact us with specific queries.


Tenants must have a form of income from any of the sources listed below (or a combination of the sources) that equals at least 1 x the yearly rent (eg – if the property you wish to rent is £800pcm you need to have a source of income of at least £800 x 12 = £9600.00)

Acceptable income sources:

Earned income from an employer (PAYE)

Self employed income – which must be verified via an accountant, bank statements or self assessment tax forms - see section below

Disability Benefits


Savings (must be in an accessible account, and must have not been touched for at least 6 months)

Other forms of income such as maintenance payments, student loans, bursaries, commission, income from property etc are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If the income as listed above is between 1 x the yearly rent and 2.5 x the yearly rent a guarantor must also be provided.

Government Benefits

Any government benefits can be used to contribute towards your total income and affordable rent calculations.

We can verify income based on any benefit payments already received. If you are due to receive a new benefit payment, we will need to review their benefit award letter to verify this.

To verify income from government benefits you must provide either:

  • Your benefit award notice for the current year for each of their benefits; or
  • Access to financial records for your personal bank account shared using Open Banking showing their benefit payments; or
  • Itemised bank statements for your personal bank account spanning the last six months. The bank statements will need to show the incoming transactions for their benefit payments, and must be provided in a non-editable format, such as a photo or PDF file.

Credit rating

One declared CCJ under £300.00 – may be acceptable dependant on the rest of the referencing

2 CCJ’s totalling less than £5000.00 – may be acceptable with a guarantor dependant on the rest of the referencing.

3 or more CCJ’s – Decline

Non-Declared CCJ – Decline (so if you think you may have a CCJ please tick ‘yes’ during the application process to this question)

Declared Bankrupt or Declared IVA – may be acceptable with guarantor dependant on the rest of the referencing

Non-Declared Bankrupt or Non Declared IVA – Decline.

If you are unsure of your credit rating you can go online and use one of the companies who will do a search for you.


A Guarantor is always required if the applicants income is less than 2.5 x the yearly rent. The Guarantor must earn (from any of the incomes previously listed) at least 3 x the yearly rent (applicants are permitted to have more than one guarantor)

Guarantors must have NO adverse credit. See a more detailed article about guarantors here: https://www.gpslettings.co.uk/blog/38-what-guarantors-need-to-know

Previous Landlord Reference

Tenants must receive a suitable previous landlord reference (if you have rented previously). The reference must confirm you have always paid your rent in full and on time and that there is no reason for us not to consider renting a property to you.

Self Employed

If you have been self employed for less than 2 months we are really sorry, but you will not pass the referencing. Your only option may be to offer to pay the full rent (12 months) up front

If you have been self employed for between 2 months and one year, you may pass the referencing (subject to all the other affordability and credit history criteria), but you will require a guarantor. You will be asked for:

– a reference from a chartered accountant confirming income earned; or
– 6 months personal bank statements / Open Banking consent to personal bank account

If you have been self employed for more than 12 months you will be asked for:

– a reference from a chartered accountant confirming income earned for the last 12 months; or
– SA302 tax calculation for the most recent financial year; or 
– SA100 tax return for the most recent financial year with HMRC submission receipt.

If the tax calculation/return is NOT dated within the last 12 months, you must also provide the following in addition:
– six months personal bank statements or using Open Banking to share personal bank account; OR
– three months bank statements for business bank account or using Open Banking to share business bank account

Accountant Referee Eligibility Criteria

Proof of Address – ALL Tenants and Guarantors must provide this

For your proof of address, the only documents we can accept are as follows (only one needs to be provided)

Photocard driving licence

Gas, Electric or Water bill (MUST be dated within the last 3 months)

Bank Statement (MUST be dated within the last 3 months)

Letter from your employer on headed paper, signed and dated, giving your name, job title and address. (offer of employment or pay slips not accepted)

TV Licence,( dated within the last 3 months)

Current mortgage statement (dated within the last 3 months.)

Sorry, but please do not ask us if we can accept any alternative documents, we cannot take a view on the documents we accept. ONLY the above documents will be accepted

Proof of right to rent - all Tenants must provide this.

If you have a European Passport we are able to accept this.

If you do not have this document, please refer to the government web site, and submit to us documents within this list:



All tenants will be required to pay a deposit of between 4 and 5 weeks rent, plus one months rent up front on move in day. If a tenant has a pet then the rent will be increased by £20.00pcm (not all landlords will accept  a pet) On some occasions we may be able to accept a deposit replacement insurance - the insurance cost is a sum equivalent to 42% of one months rent. More details can be provided upon request. Due to insurance requirements, the deposit replacement insurance can only be taken out with the insurer we use. We cannot accept any type of bond for the deposit.

Signing Contracts and Producing ID

All tenants and guarantors must be available to come into or office in person to produce their ID and sign the relevant agreements or Deeds.