Am I obliged to provide a reference for former tenant?

Question from George kenneth Smith updated on 10th December 2008:

We have given our tenant notice and now she is asking when the new landlord rings us for a reference can we give her one, we don't want to give her a reference, and I believe we must have her permission to give reference to a new landlord is this correct?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Landlords are not required to provide references for their previous tenants if they are not willing to do so. I recommend that at the end of the tenancy, landlords and tenants should discuss whether the tenant wishes the landlord to provide references for future tenancies.. If you don’t want to be a referee for your tenant, I suggest that you tell them this so that they can make other arrangements. If you would like to discuss this matter further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm.


The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.




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