Importance of Vetting Tenants

30th April 2019 posted in Landlords Tenants

Landlords must be aware that having a good standard of a tenant in your rental property makes your life a lot easier. When you have a dependable tenant, they are more likely to pay on time, they will care for the rental property, and they will treat you with respect. The difference in dealing with a reliable tenant and an unruly tenant can be huge, so the importance of vetting tenants cannot be ignored by landlords.

Landlords should check tenants affordability

Given the importance of rent being paid on time and in full each month, it is essential that landlords assess whether tenants can afford to pay the rent. Some experts in the letting sector recommend that tenants enjoy an annual income that is at least .5 times their annual rent.

As an example, if monthly rent was £1,000 and annual rent was £12,000, the tenant should earn £30,000 to be considered a suitable candidate for the property. Bear in mind that tenants have a lot of costs to consider, including utility bills, groceries, council tax, travel and other fees, so they have a lot of outgoings. While rent should be the number one priority for a tenant, the range of fees bills they have to pay each month means landlords have to be set a reasonably high barrier when it comes to testing their affordability.

Landlords should also consider carrying out a Credit Check on a prospective tenant. If the tenant has had financial issues in the past, the landlord may wish to review their suitability. Not everyone who suffered financial problems in the past poses a risk, but it is information that will help the landlord make a more informed decision as to who to let to. It may be the landlord will decide the tenant poses a risk, but the presence of a guarantor may make them a suitable tenant.

A landlord should make contact with the prospective tenant’s current employer and previous landlords. This will indicate as to whether they can afford to pay their bills and whether they have a track record of missing rental payments.

Landlords should check tenants suitability

Contacting a previous landlord isn’t just helpful in gauging whether a tenant can afford to pay rent each month; it offers insight into whether they will respect the property. Even if a tenant pays their rent on time and in full, if they don’t care for the rental property or treat the accommodation with respect, they may not be a suitable option for a landlord.

Liaising with landlords and obtaining a character reference for the tenant’s behaviour and attitude will provide insight that helps a landlord make informed decisions.

Don’t forget social media

If you are looking for insight into a person, their social media accounts are likely to provide some information you don’t see in other places. While people’s social media persona are not always an accurate reflection on what they are really like, some landlords may have concerns if a prospective tenant is continually partying or lacking consistency concerning employment.

At Hunters Forest Hill, we believe it is vital to vet tenants, and we are here to assist local landlords in making an informed decision. We also cover New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, so if you need assistance in any of the areas, please get in touch.