When selecting the right tenant(s) to rent your property, you want to be confident that you can trust them to pay their rent on time, take care of your property and treat you with respect. By vetting tenants, you can save yourself future hassle and ensure you find the perfect residents.
The first and foremost thing you’re going to want to know is that they can pay the rent in full and on time. A basic referencing package will usually include a soft credit check and electoral role search to ensure everything is in the black.
In this search, look out for warning signs such as CCJs, bankruptcy, or voluntary financial arrangements. That said, it can be worth having a conversation with them about why they got into money troubles in the past and how they can reassure you they’re reliable now.
Asking for references from previous landlords is a great way of finding out what sort of tenant someone is: Were they reliable with rent? Did they leave the property in good condition?
Again, there may be other factors as to why a tenant might not have got on with their previous landlord, so bear that in mind, but this is still one of the best ways to get to know a prospective tenant.
3. Right To Rent check
As a landlord you are obligated to check the immigration status of any tenant – https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/how_landlords_and_letting_agents_check_tenants. This could be by way of passport, UK birth certificate and driving licence, or visa confirming they have the necessary permissions to be in the UK. You may not however refuse to rent on the basis of nationality or ethnicity.
If you’re not convinced by a tenant, you may want to ask for a guarantor who will pay rent or damages if they can’t. You should ensure you have property reporting software such as that provided by https://inventorybase.co.uk/, before any new tenant moves in to avoid disputes.
Although there could be a variety of reasons someone’s renting history isn’t perfect, multiple offences or recent problems might be warning signs that this isn’t the tenant for you. Remember, it’s your property, and you have the right to ensure you’re only letting it to people who are going to give it (and you) the respect you deserve.