How to find the right tenant?

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While there are many distinct aspects that impact on the success, or otherwise, of a landlord, the right tenant is an essential component. With the right tenant in place, a landlord can be confident about the quality of the property being maintained while they will receive payment on time and in full each month. With the wrong type of tenant, the property is at risk and so monthly payments may not be guaranteed. There is also the risk and problems that come with void tenancies, so landlords need to know how to find the right tenant and Homesforte are here to help.

Landlords should be happy about the elevated level of demand for rental property but not every tenant is the same. There is work to do to narrow down the list of potential tenants to ensure that you find the right tenant and the following steps are vital.

Carry out reference checks of prospective tenants

The most effective way to find out what a prospective tenant will be like in your property is to ask previous landlords or an employer. Not every prospective is the sort of person you want staying in your property, so ask for references, review these references and then decide if the person is the sort of person you want living in your home.

A quick tip when carrying out reference checks is don’t forget you can learn a lot about a person from their social media profiles. If the applicant claims to be a professional, review their LinkedIn profile to review if the information matches what they tell you and what their employment prospects are like. Also, you can find out a lot about a person’s personality and nature from Facebook and Twitter posts, so be sure to check these accounts too.

Carry out credit checks

While credit checks don’t tell the full story of a person or provide complete insight into their current financial status, it is possible to learn a lot about a person from their credit check. A landlord that lets property to someone with a history of missed payments and poor credit runs the risk of losing money or not being paid.

A quick and convenient credit check provides a landlord with more information and this allows for a more informed decision to be made.

This is obviously good news for landlords, but it also poses some potential problems. With demand for rental property so high, how can you make sure that you choose the right tenant?

Create a standard application form that must be filled in

If you have a lot of information, presented in diverse ways and formats, it can be difficult to make a comparison. As a landlord, you may have to compare prospective tenants and find the one that is most suitable to your property. You can make this process easier by asking each prospective tenant to complete the same form, making the comparison process quicker and more straightforward.

Don’t feel as though you must make a swift decision

Time is money and the longer you have a void property, the more money you lose out on, but it is always better to make an informed decision than a rushed decision. Losing out on a week’s worth of rent is far from ideal for a landlord but if this time helps a landlord to find the right tenant, preventing the selection of a tenant who fails to pay and causes considerable damage, the short-term loss is more than cancelled out by the longer-term benefits.

Make sure you meet the tenant

It is helpful to meet the prospective tenant in person before you commit to accepting their application. A lot of people can create a fantastic impression on paper, but it is only when you meet someone face to face that you can develop true insight into what they are like.

Even if you are unable to meet in person, it is worth asking someone you trust, or hiring a professional to do so and provide you with their thoughts on the prospective tenant.

Take a deposit

The laws on how much of a deposit you can claim from a tenant is changing, with the Tenant Fees Bill expected to pass into law in 2019. At that point, the deposit cap will be set at six weeks’ worth of tent. Until that bill becomes law, there is no cap although you may find it of benefit to use this figure as your benchmark.

Regardless of what level you choose now, it is vital that you take a deposit from a tenant and you place it into a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This is a legal requirement.

Be sure to contact unsuccessful applicants, as this allows them to move onto other options and always remember that you have a contract in place with the tenant. The tenancy agreement is often mentioned with respect to the landlord reminding the tenant of their rights and limitations of what they can do at the property, but there are agreements the landlord must adhere to as well. All parties must act in accordance with the tenancy agreement, so make sure you are happy with the agreement before you sign it.

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