I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – a good tenant is the key to success in the buy-to-let industry.
With the government flirting with the idea of enforcing 3 year tenancies earlier this year, and with new eviction rules now in place, it has never been more important to secure a good tenant for your property.
So, how well do you know your tenant?
Here’s everything you should check off before moving someone into your property:
First and foremost, does the tenant have a legal right to rent in the UK? Getting confirmation of this includes inspecting original copies of documents such as passports and immigration papers for each adult moving in.
Asking questions about employment is not intrusive. It’s necessary to enquire about their occupation, the industry they’re in and their work hours to ensure they have a stable job.
Of course, finding out their salary is also essential. Like most referencing agencies, we require a tenant’s yearly income to amount to 30 times the monthly rent costs, at least. For self-employed tenants, proof of sustainability via copies of trading accounts and/or an accountant’s reference is required.
The tenant telling you about their job is not enough. A reference from their employer is needed as well as a recommendation from a current or previous landlord.
Letting agents like myself will also ask the tenant for permission to conduct a credit check to see if a tenant has had problems paying bills in the past.
While not compulsory, especially if the tenant’s credit checks and references have been successful, a guarantor can still be useful for additional information and, of course, if rent arrears do ever occur.
One thing I’ve learned to be wary of is when a potential tenant claims the have never rented before and therefore you are unable to obtain a previous landlord reference. It’s an easy lie for someone who knows they will get a bad reference. But even if it is true, it indicates inexperience in renting, so this is where getting a guarantor on board is a good safe-guard to have.
Without being intrusive, try and find out the tenant’s lifestyle. What’s their relationship status, are they interested in a long-term let or are they a party animal? Most importantly, do they have a pet or are they wanting to get one?
It’s not a bad idea to check out your tenant’s social media profile before they move in to get a better feel of them. If they have a pet they’ve not told you about you are almost certain to see pictures of it online!
The better you get to know your tenant in a friendly way, the better the communication and relationship you’ll have with them as well.
Do you find it hard securing tenants for your properties? If you find it a hefty job or you have been reading this and have any concerns about any of the checks, please get in touch.
Portfolio Letting Experts has been managing properties on the south coast for almost a decade and finding tenants and doing all the relevant checks is second nature to us. So if you’re struggling we’re here to help.