Whether you are a landlord or an employer you will inevitably be asked to provide a reference for a former tenant or employee.
If they have been good tenants or employees there is normally not a problem, however, what if you are asked to provide a reference for a tenant who has had rent arrears or an employee who has left under a cloud?
Under no circumstances should you provide a reference that is any way untrue as it could come back to haunt you in the form of a claim for misrepresentation, but how truthful can you be?
In a recent High Court decision the court held that a police force should not be permitted to send a further reference to the new employer of one of its former senior officers, advising the new employer of the officer’s extended absence record and of unproven disciplinary allegations outstanding against him at the time of his departure.
Although the court accepted that there was a strong public interest in providing full and frank disclosure, the officer had a legitimate expectation that outweighed the public interest in disclosure. In this case, the officer had relied on an undertaking given by a senior officer that only a standard reference would be provided.
So even in case where the employer had not said anything that was factually wrong they still ended up in trouble, so perhaps the best advice remains “If you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all”. That probably speaks volumes in any event.
If you have any queries about a reference you have been asked to provide or one that you have received then please contact us on 01565 754444 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what we can do for you.