Why Take Risks When Choosing Your Next Tenant?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Would You Accept New Tenants Without Checking On Their Background?

Would You Accept New Tenants Without Checking On Their Background?

Would You Accept New Tenants Without Checking On Their Background?

There are plenty of stories in the newspapers and lots of discussion threads on many online landlord forums concerning the tenant selection process and how landlords have ended up housing bad tenants because they went with their gut feeling rather than paying for professional tenant referencing.

With the current demand for rental property remaining incredibly strong due to the shortfall of suitable rental properties available on the market, it makes little sense why landlords would want to risk housing tenants without conducting comprehensive tenant referencing on any prospective applicants.

Tenant referencing services are readily offered by many high street letting agents, although price and level of service may vary, as part of a full rental property management service, and some agents will also conduct them as part of a basic pre-tenancy service if that is what the landlord requests.

If a landlord asks a letting agent to check prospective tenants, then they should ask what type of checks the agent will perform, will they cover:

  • Credit report
  • Employment check
  • Fraud check
  • Identity check
  • Landlord references

Ask the letting agent who they use to conduct tenant referencing checks and if it isn’t Legal 4 Landlords, the UK’s leading specialist supplier to private rental sector (PRS) landlords and the lettings industry, then ask who they would use and also ask to see examples of reference request letters that the agent will be sending out.

Also ensure that any tenant referencing fees charged by letting agents is representative of the service they claim to provide as they will either charge you as the landlord of the property, or the prospective tenant and overly large referencing fees can put off some tenant applicants and deter landlords from conducting vital background checks.

Landlords can conduct tenant reference checks themselves if they so choose, and this process has many benefits including allowing the landlord to be as thorough as they wish.

DIY tenant referencing allows the landlord direct control over a very important stage of the selection process and will invariably cost less money, although cutting corners at this vital stage of the tenant selection process can prove costly further down the line when the landlord either discovers something unpleasant about the tenants past or they face the prospect of having to evict the tenant due to defaulting on rental payments because of overstretched financial commitments.

Landlords need to remember that they cannot discriminate in advertisements or during tenant selection on the basis of race, nationality, gender, sexuality or disability, but they can make distinctions based upon the suitability of the prospective tenant.

It is up to you as a landlord to make an informed decision based upon the evidence received, but they should also be prepared to defend themselves against allegations of discrimination should they refuse to grant a tenancy and it is wise to retain records of everything to do with the rental property and applications to rent it from all parties.

Landlords and letting agents can contact Legal 4 Landlords themselves by telephone on 0844 567 4002

or request tenant reference checks online http://www.legal4landlords.com/tenant-referencing/

Legal 4 Landlords pioneering and market leading tenant referencing system is unrivalled in efficiency, accuracy and reliability.

Legal 4 Landlords advanced tenant referencing system is more efficient and more reliable than any other system on the market. Letting agents and landlords can track and manage all their tenant reference reports online within a few clicks.

Is it really worth hoping that everything will be alright or should you do things properly?

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 11:30 am. Filed under Referencing. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.