Avoid The Rotten Apple
24 Dec 2016
The private rented sector is becoming more and more competitive, while most tenants are unlikely to cause any hassle, some will wreak havoc, meaning you need to be on the lookout for any bad apples.
Ensuring that the right tenants move into your property can save you hassle down the line, such as the lengthy and costly eviction process. Some stick out like sore thumbs, so are easy to avoid, but others rely on deception and secrecy.
Here are some tips to help you avoid bad tenants.
Research reveals that a staggering 38% of landlords do not carry out checks on prospective tenants, leaving themselves vulnerable to bad tenants. Referencing checks can provide a landlord with an idea of what to expect, such as if the potential occupier will pay their rent on time. These checks will also reveal if the person has any criminal convictions or county court judgements against them for debt, which should give a landlord a clearer picture of the potential tenant.
Be wary of tenants who try and get around referencing checks, as this could be an attempt to keep their history hidden. It is likely that such a person would target landlords that have just entered the buy-to-let property market or private landlords that choose to work without the help of lettings agencies.
This may not be required in all cases, so use your initiative to decide if a guarantor will be needed or not. Tenants that work part-time or receive benefits, or couples who apply for a joint tenancy may not be able to pay the rent if their situation changes, so in these instances it may be a good idea to give yourself added protection.
Landlords should take a deposit, which generally equates to four to six weeks’ rent. This provides the owner of the property with a degree of protection should any damage to the property occur or if the tenant absconds without paying their last month’s rent. Deposits must legally be held in one of the government’s three protection schemes until the tenant vacates the property.
Be on the lookout for any potential occupiers that ask you to forego the deposit, as it could be an indicator of a rotten apple.
Taking an inventory will reduce the chances of a dispute happening when a tenant leaves a property. Write down what the house contains and make a note of any existing damage, taking photos as well. This means you have the evidence necessary to prove any missing items or new damage is the fault of the tenant.
We ensure that these checks and balances are carried out, in order to protect your investment. Give us a call for a free consultation regarding your rental property.