Tenant Referencing Advert Claims Were Misleading

A tenant referencing firm must change the wording of marketing materials after an advertising watchdog has ruled them misleading.

Homeppl bragged rival company Let Alliance approved fewer tenant references from a smaller cross-section of applicants.

Homeppl also claimed they approved 25 per cent more references than any other firm and boasted in an email that no other company identified tenancy fraud as well as they did.

However, the claims were not backed with evidence, prompting Let Alliance to complain to the market monitor, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Tenancy fraud

The ASA ruled against Homeppl and told the company any advertising claims must be substantiated.

“We concluded that the claim that Homeppl can ‘approve 25 per cent rental applications than any of our UK competitors’ was misleading,” said the ASA report.

“No other referencing company identifies tenancy fraud” in another advert had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading.”

“The claims must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Homeppl Ltd to ensure they held adequate evidence to substantiate comparative claims in the future and to ensure claims with identifiable competitors were verifiable.”

Advertising standards FAQ

What is the ASA?

ASA is short for the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA aims to keep advertising ‘decent, honest and truthful’. The advertising industry is self-regulating with the ASA dealing with complaints.

Can the ASA fine firms?

No. The ASA has no power to levy fines but can order that an offending advert is withdrawn.

Does the ASA only deal with printed adverts?

The ASA regulates all forms of advertising, including online adverts and social media marketing.

What is the advertising code?

The advertising code lists rules governing how firms market their goods and services. The list is drafted by the Committee of Advertising Practice, which represents advertisers, media agencies and their owners.

The ASA policies how advertisers interpret the code in their marketing strategies.

How many complaints does the ASA handle?

The latest figures for 2021 show the ASA resolved 43,325 complaints relating to 22,115 adverts.

View Related Handbook Page

Tenant References and Guarantors

Landlords should interview prospective tenants carefully to assist in choosing one who will be trustworthy and reliable. Taking up references from a prospective tenant’s current or previous landlord, employer and bank can help to inform the tenant selection process.