Making sure that you have got the perfect tenant occupying your rental property is not an easy thing to achieve. Getting it wrong, sadly to say, can prove costly as your property could be left in quite a state. Landlords tend to have their own process for vetting tenants whether doing it himself or herself or using a letting agent.
There are no doubt some experienced landlords out their who just go on their “gut feeling” when meeting a prospective tenant for the first time but there is a lot to be said for having a set vetting process in place. Below are a few suggestions that you may wish to consider.
Tenant Referencing Companies
You can go on the Internet and find companies that provide a tenant referencing service. This could include them doing a credit reference search on the prospective tenant and contacting their previous landlord for a reference. A fee is obviously payable.
Checking Identification and Verifying Address
You can do both these things by seeing their passport and/or photo card driving license and looking at things like utility bills and bank statements.
You could write to any previous landlord(s) to enquire as to their general suitability as a tenant, whether rental payments were met and what state the property was left in when it was vacated.
You could write to the employer to confirm things like their employee’s salary as this will provide an indication as to whether the rent is affordable. The length of time they have been employed would give an indication of longevity and a general character reference would give you some reassurance.
Credit Reference Search
A credit reference search will confirm if the prospective tenant is on the voters roll and provide details of their credit history. This should reveal if they are bankrupt, have any County Court Judgements (CCJs) or have defaulted on any liabilities.
Due to the financial climate that we have seen in the UK in recent years, an increasing number of people have a bad credit history so, just because someone has missed one month’s minimum credit card payment does not mean to say that you should not consider them to rent your property. However, if they had been in arrears with a mortgage you may decide to take a different view.
As well as confirming an address, as referred to above, you could also ask to see bank statements covering a period of three months. These could show the level of net salary and whether the account is under pressure i.e. are direct debits being returned unpaid and/or is the overdraft facility being exceeded at times.
We do hope that the above is of help in ensuring that your prospective tenant turns out to be one that is a pleasure to have residing in your rental property.