How to avoid renting to problem tenants

There are always risks associated with renting your property and one of the biggest ones is problem tenants. Most tenants are respectful, but there are always a few you should avoid at all costs.

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In 2015, tenant evictions were at their highest ever. While some issues are inevitable, there are steps you can take to avoid problem tenants.

Get references

Potential tenants should fill out an application form with details of their current landlord or agent. You should also get employment information from each tenant and phone the employers to make sure they’re genuine. Some potential tenants use the phone number of a friend or family member as their employer. Bank statements are also a good way to ensure tenants are truthful about their income.

Identification checks

If tenants cannot prove their identity, then steer clear of them at all costs. They should show you their driving license or passport. National insurance numbers are also important, as they can help you trace the tenant if they disappear.

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Run credit checks

You should get permission from potential tenants to run credit checks and use a reputable company. Credit checks give you an insight into the tenant’s history, as well as highlighting any CCJs recorded against them.

Do a property inventory

If you let the property, then it’s important to keep track of all the household items before they move in. If anything is missing when they move out, you can ask for the item to be replaced or charge the tenant. Property inventory software such as allows you to keep reliable records.

Have a tenancy agreement

Start with a short-term tenancy of six months to avoid long-term problems with new tenants. They should sign the lease before moving in, because if you need to remove them from the property, a tenancy agreement is essential. Without an agreement, the law is on your tenant’s side.

Do property inspections

You don’t know what’s happening in your property unless you carry out regular inspections. Checking the property will allow you to see how the tenants are treating the house and if there are any damages.

Build a relationship

By getting to know your tenant and building a good relationship, they’ll be more cooperative and will treat the property with respect.

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