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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31602
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am a director of a company and a member of staff has asked

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Hi. I am a director of a company and a member of staff has asked for a reference to continue the tenancy of a property. The company, called let alliance, has asked me to provide turnover and profit information that isnt available on companies house. we have 30 emplyees and have provided a number of letting references and I have never been for this info - just the employees position, salary and start date. Have they got a right to ask for this information? when I questioned it they emailed the employee to say he had failed the reference and would have to vacate the property. Thanks for your help!
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In Chester, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none, just this
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no, I was just after some advice that hopefully states that they have no right to do this and if I could have some legally worded response it would be helpful thanks !

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am sorry to read of the above. Are you able to kindly clarify your comment that they would have to vacate the property please? Have they orally been let into occupation in the property before references were completed?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks for your help. So the employee was let the property but this is to renew the tenancy - they have just started employment with us so we didn’t have to provide the original reference but have been asked to provide it for the renewal
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks for your help. So the employee was let the property but this is to renew the tenancy - they have just started employment with us so we didn’t have to provide the original reference but have tbeen asked to provide it for the renewal

there is no obligation for you to provide a reference at all and the requests being made of you appear to go further than is appropriate. clearly it is matter for you as regards ***** ***** disclose such information but very few employers I suspect would be willing to do so.

If the landlord decides they wish to remove your employee, then it is open to your employee to refuse to leave and the landlord will have to go through a lengthy possession process in the courts in order to obtain possession.

if the tenant fails a reference though I cannot see the above would be a basis for a reference failure in and of itself on standard industry practice, the usual approach would be for a request to be made for a guarantor not to evict the tenant.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks that’s very useful. We do want to provide the reference, but we don’t want to disclose that information. I was just wondering if they actually have the right to ask for it - or can they ask for anything?

given it is not illegal for them to ask, strictly speaking I suppose we can say they have the right to ask but that does not mean to say that they have the right to the information which is a very different thing. In my view, the request is excessive and inappropriate. for example, strictly speaking it would be appropriate for a tenant to demand financial information from the landlord such as details of their mortgage, and the landlord's financial stability in order that the tenant can satisfy themselves they are not going to be facing a mortgage repossession from a landlord that cannot keep  up repayments on their mortgage. This happens.

There is some element of risk in regards ***** ***** to a tenant but this risk is dealt with by putting in place an appropriate rent protection insurance policy and carrying out industry-standard referencing checks in accordance with the requirements of that policy which do not include seeking intrusive information from employers which I will be surprised if they were ever successful in obtaining and certainly not on anything like a frequent basis.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok thank you very much for your advice

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

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