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Tenancy Referencing Service

The Tenancy Referencing Service offers a free service to member landlords which allows them to make informed choices about prospective tenants when letting properties in the Middlesbrough area.

Benefits of membership

  • Assistance from Tenancy Relation Officers in completing application forms where necessary
  • Two stage robust referencing service for potential tenants (find out more below)
  • A dedicated team to support landlords through the letting process
  • Support from the Neighbourhood Safety Team to help tackle tenants responsible for anti-social behaviour and breaches of the tenancy agreement
  • Representation at a multi-agency forum that exchanges information on nuisance and harassment

Sign up

You can complete the landlord membership form online.

If you have any queries about the Tenancy Referencing Service please contact the Neighbourhood Safety Team via the council's Contact Centre on 01642 245432.

Request a referencing check

Download and fill in the tenant application form and return it to tenancyreferencing@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

You can also download a guidance document which will help you to fill out the tenant application form.

More information about the Tenancy Referencing Service

Types of referencing

Basic ASB check and current tenancy check reference - returned within 1 to 2 days

  • We will check for any reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB), noise nuisance, property damage, property breaches, environmental health issues, and police intelligence, relating to the applicant, their dependants, or the person making the tenancy application, or against any addresses linked to the applicant.

Previous 3 year reference - returned within 3 to 5 days

  • We will check the tenant's housing history for the past two years using our records, our partner's records, and those of any current and previous landlords. These records may include, but not be limited to, any complaints of anti-social behaviour (ASB), domestic violence, rent arrears, damage to property, abandonment of property, breach of tenancy conditions, court orders, housing benefit information, environmental health actions/enforcement actions, police intelligence, illegal use of property, and / or criminal behaviour which is deemed to be relevant to tenancy management. If the applicant/s have lived out of the area, or within any other local authority, an ASB check is conducted with the local authority.

Middlesbrough Tenancy Referencing Service does not carry out criminal record checks.

The traffic light system

A traffic light system is used to explain the results of the reference check. This lets landlords make an informed choice about whether or not to allocate a tenancy.

  • Green: indicates no issues.
  • Amber: may indicate that there has been no previous tenancy held, or there may have been some minor tenancy issues or rent arrears.
  • Red: indicates evidence of eviction, anti-social behaviour, or high rent arrears.

Support

While we acknowledge that people need somewhere to live, the Tenancy Referencing Service would advise that a package of support be put in place if landlords are going to rehouse a 'red' client. This is to prevent any repetition of previous issues and assist in sustaining the new tenancy. Tenancy Relations Officers can recommend various support agencies to landlords seeking advice regarding their tenants.

The team also officers a sign up service, whereby an officer can be a witness at the signing up of new tenants, and offer support to both the landlord and the tenant, explaining sections of the tenancy agreement so that both the landlord and tenant are happy with what they are signing.

Throughout the tenancy, Tenancy Relations Officers will continue to provide support to both landlords and tenants. If there are any complaints of anti-social behaviour, Neighbourhood Safety Officers will support the landlord to resolve the issues. The landlord will be contacted by a Neighbourhood Safety Officer who will discuss the concerns and conduct joint visits, and provide copies of any warning letters sent to the tenant(s). The landlord will also be invited to any interviews where necessary. Should issues of anti-social behaviour persist then assistance can be given in preparing and serving a notice of seeking possession if appropriate. More information regarding anti-social behaviour can be found on the anti-social behaviour page.

Incentives

A number of incentives are currently available to help eligible landlords improve their properties, including a replacement boiler system, external cladding, or loft insulation at a reduced price or in some circumstances free of charge. More information can be found on the Middlesbrough Environment City Website.

Up to date information regarding the new 'Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations' can be found on the GOV.UK website. Cleveland Fire Brigade can also provide free home fire safety checks, free fire alarm installation, and carbon monoxide monitors. More information can be found on the Cleveland Fire Brigade Website.

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