Even though many issues impact on a landlord’s ability to enjoy letting property, the standard of the tenant has a huge role to play in the final outcome. Therefore, it is essential that landlords vet tenants before they decide on who to let their property to.
Right To Rent regulations have forced landlords to undertake some tests and checks on their tenants or face a fine of up to £3,000. However, the benefits that come from having a reliable and dependable tenant in your property means every landlord should take steps to vet tenants.
The first step in the vetting process is deciding whether the landlord undertakes the vetting process themselves or they turn to a professional for help. At Hunters Forest Hill, we are happy to undertake this service on behalf of landlords, but we can also provide guidance on how to vet tenants. Whatever option you decide, it is vital that the process is taken seriously and is carried out thoroughly.
What to vet in prospective tenants
If you haven’t vetted anyone before, you may be unsure as to what you can or should review before welcoming a tenant into your property. Most agents review:
· Three months of payslips and bank statements
· Credit checks including whether they have a CCJ
· A Cifas fraud prevention check
· A landlord can ask for a guarantor if they feel this is best
If you are unsure about a prospective tenant’s suitability, you may wish to consider if they are willing to have a guarantor for their time in the property. There are reasons why you may be uncertain as to welcoming a tenant to your home but you don’t wish to rule them out entirely. A tenant who has lived abroad, who don’t have a credit history that is long enough or who falls short of annual income being 2.5 times the annual rent for the property is not necessarily going to be a bad or an at-risk tenant, but it would be sensible to feel more confident about the tenant.
Asking the tenant to provide a guarantor who will cover their rent payments if they default will offer you confidence while helping tenants with a greater chance of finding a suitable rental property.
Review social media to gauge the personality of the tenant
While it is important to review a person’s financial background and ability to pay their rent, you also want the right sort of person staying in your property. A landlord is likely to have an idea of the type of personality they want a tenant to have, and you can find out a lot about a person from their social media accounts.
Social media accounts don’t always provide a true reflection of a person but when you are looking to find as much information as you can about a person, consider checking their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts if they are available.
Meet the person and interview them
Given that a person’s social media personality may not be a true reflection of their personality, you should also meet them in person and have a chat. This can be formal or informal depending on your own personality and what you feel is best to help you form an opinion on a prospective tenant.
With the risks and potential costs of allowing the wrong tenant to stay in your property being a huge concern for the landlord, it is important that you take every precaution in vetting tenants. It isn’t possible to be 100% certain about the conduct and financial responsibility a tenant will show, but you can form a reasoned and measured opinion by vetting tenants thoroughly.
If you need help in vetting tenants or you want us to manage this process for you, turn to Hunters Forest Hill and we will be more than happy to assist you. We’re pleased to say we are a hub office covering more than just Forest Hill. If you are interested in or need help in areas like New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, we are your ideal agents.