Landlord ID and proof of ownership - what's the big deal?

By Shannon Hall

A couple of their laptop in bed, verifying their landlord ID

Why do we ask for landlord ID?

October 18, 2019 Shannon Hall 2 Comments

This post was last updated on August 18th, 2021 at 02:47 pm

Having a stand-out online advert is key for landlords when letting out a property, however, before we publish your ad there are some things we need check. Whilst preparing to advertise their next let, the majority of landlords have their descriptions, floor plans and photos ready and waiting, but not all of them expect to be asked for landlord ID.

No landlord ID, no security

The reason we ask for identification is to ensure that every landlord is who they say they are and that every property is being legitimately let. This verification is an extra level of security, not just for us but for every landlord out there. Without asking people to prove who they are, we could be advertising a landlord’s property without them knowing – and we certainly don’t want to do that.

So, when advertising your home you’ll be asked to provide:

  • Photo ID – such as a driving licence or passport
  • Proof of ownership – such as a mortgage statement, title deed, consent to let or land registry certificate

Protecting landlords against illegal subletters

A couple of weeks ago, someone contacted us to advertise a property. However, because they were unable to show any ID that proved they were the owner, we could not continue. It was later revealed that they were not the landlord, but in fact a tenant who did not have permission to sublet.

To sublet a property without the owner’s consent is at best case, a breach of contract. Most tenancies would state that the tenant would be required to seek permission before subletting is allowed. At worst case, subletting social housing may be a criminal offence. A council tenant found letting out their home illegally will be subject to serious fines.

This hasn’t stopped everyone…

Back in July, a council tenant was found guilty of unlawfully subletting his London flat on Airbnb. He was immediately evicted from his home and subject to fines of over £100,000.

It can take a while for landlords to send over their ID and they often question why we need it all. We need landlords to know that we aren’t questioning their personal integrity – we just have their best interests in mind.

Gemma Ward, Valuations Coordinator at

It’s no different for tenants

Before a tenant enters into an agreement, they must be referenced. Reference checks help to identify any previous issues and provide the landlord with some peace of mind. Typically, a tenant reference check consists of:

  • An employment reference
  • A previous landlord reference
  • A 6-year credit check

Would you be happy with letting a tenant move in without this information? Probably not – and rightly so. For us, publishing an advert without confirming the landlord’s proof of ownership is no different.

Find out how the Fifth Money Laundering Directive is protecting landlords and tenants.

If you’re ready to advertise your home, feel free to contact us today for your free rental valuation. We can get your advert published on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation – just remember to have your proof of ownership to hand!

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About Shannon Hall

Shannon joined in 2015 and has proven to be an exceptional Valuations Team Leader by supporting new landlord clients in switching to our digital platform. Not only is Shannon an experienced landlord herself, she has achieved professional qualifications in Residential Lettings & Property Management, holds a NFOPP Technical Award and has completed a Diploma in Business Management.

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