3.5 References and checks
You must obtain the prospective tenant’s consent before seeking a reference or carrying out a credit check.
You should take references that are in accordance with the individual circumstances of the tenant and should take care in validating their authenticity. You should keep a record of the steps you take to do this. You should ensure that you understand any additional requirements around obtaining a reference for a tenant in a selective licensing area.
You must make reasonable endeavours to check the lawful immigration status of any potential tenant or other persons living at the property where required to do so by law.
Basically be careful and make sure you have proper permission.
Note that the ‘right to rent’ or immigration checks of tenants brought in under the Immigration Act 2014 will be piloted in the West Midlands from 1 December 2014.