I have been approached by a couple who want to rent my property, which is empty at the moment. They tell me they are on housing benefit, the wife does not work (she looks after their child) and the husband did work but lost his job when he broke his leg. He now does boot sales with his father at weekends. My problem is that he tells me that when they took on the 6 month tenancy of the property they are in at the moment (they have been given notice because the house is to be sold) they were not required to give references. Can this be so ? I am concerned that if I go ahead and we sign a letting agreement, I will then find that the council will not pay housing benefit and the tenants don't pay the rent. I will try to contact the present landlord to see if he can cast any light on the situation.
Do you have any advice as to whether I can protect myself in any way ?