Choosing a good tenant is a tricky proposition. There are good tenants and then there are bad tenants, with choosing the latter potentially causing a whole host of headaches for a landlord. While no method of screening tenants is completely foolproof, here are eight tips to point you in the right direction.
Check their credit
You want a tenant who is financially responsible. You can check whether a tenant is solvent by verifying their monthly income. Ask for copies of payslips and ring their employer to confirm their employment.
Pick someone stable
This means choosing someone who does not change jobs frequently. If they haven’t shown consistent employment, this could signify that they will be unemployed again before long.
Check their rental history. Find at least two previous landlords and ask them questions such as whether the rent was paid on time, whether they looked after the property, and whether there were any issues with their neighbours or the inventory. Property inventory software is available from providers such as inventorybase.co.uk.
Trust your instincts
If all the checks show that a potential tenant is great but your gut tells you otherwise, go with your gut. People can look good on paper but if your instincts tell you not to go with them, there is probably a reason.
Rush it and you might regret it. This means not simply accepting the first potential tenant that comes along, as this can get you into trouble. Advertise the property before your tenants leave and allow people to see the apartment before the current tenants have left, if possible.
Don’t just rely on your advert to find you tenants; for example, you could also check out ‘room wanted’ or ‘apartment wanted’ adverts to find tenants looking for accommodation.
Keep your information hidden
If you are using a website to advertise your property, ensure your details remain hidden from view. Scammers are constantly on the lookout to take money from landlords and tenants alike. If your details are shown, you have more chance of being a target.
Open your mind
Be open-minded to pets. Many great tenants own pets – if you prohibit them from your property, you will potentially be missing out.