How to make sure your prospective tenant is the right tenant
For any letting agent looking to bring a tenant on board, there's no doubt a temptation to get everything signed, sealed and delivered in terms of getting them moved in and settled. It's the quickest way, after all, to start bringing in rent and making a solid return.
However, if the process of onboarding is not done right when a new tenant is coming in, it can cause a number of problems down the line in terms of unpaid rent, broken rules and other issues that can take months to reverse. For this reason, it always makes sense to ensure that the correct checks are carried out before you allow someone to rent your property.
Here, we take a look at just a few of the most important checks letting agents should be doing before a tenant signs on the dotted line.
The most straightforward and obvious of the checks, a credit check is a security test to make sure your tenant is not likely to default on their payments on a monthly basis. Getting someone to move out of a flat when they have substantial arrears can be a real pain, and a drawn out affair, so it pays to make sure they have their finances in order before you allow them to sign the lease and move in.
While someone may have a good credit history, it doesn't always mean that they have the means to keep up with rental payments. It makes good sense to always check that someone has an income that will mean they don't simply neglect to pay. Asking for a confirmation letter from an employer, or some recent payslips can go a long way to proving that they have the income to be able to afford their rent.
Another thing that is always worth checking when you have a new tenant coming to live in your properties is whether they have a good history as a tenant. If they have rented before, then they will probably have dealt with a letting agent to do so, and that agent can vouch for them on a number of points. If they paid their rent on time, always kept the place looking ok and left without any real problems, then the agent should be able to give you a shining reference that lets you know you are getting a good tenant moving into your property.
It may seem a little corporate, but after you've checked everything else and it all looks good to go, why not just have a little informal chat with the tenant themselves to ask any questions you've got. Look for things like what they are hoping to get out of that property in particular, why they are choosing to live in the area, their rental past and any other relevant factors. It can help you paint a good picture of whether they will be a good fit for your property and a good tenant moving forward.