It’s impossible to overstate how important choosing the right tenants is for landlords- and it’s even more important to make sure you vet them properly before signing any contracts. The choice between a good and bad tenant could easily turn a profitable agreement into a rather large loss, or worse.
Here are four things you can do to improve your chances of choosing the right tenants, as well as some ways of vetting them before they move in.
Take your time
If you’re in a rush to avoid a tenancy gap, you might be tempted to take on board the first applicants that come along. This can lead to hasty decisions and feeling like you have to compromise before you’ve even begun. Avoid this situation by planning well in advance before your existing tenants leave. Start advertising the property early and get existing tenants to cooperate in showing the property to prospective new tenants.
Broaden your search
To ensure you have plenty of choice, cast your net wide when you start advertising.
If you’re using an agent, ask what methods they are using, and check that their descriptions and photos are showing the property in the best light possible. If you’re writing the ad yourself, take time to consider what the tenant will be looking for. Check for spelling and other errors before you post it.
Trust your gut
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. However, do bear in mind that it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
Vet your tenants
To give yourself a peace of mind, run a tenant reference on your chosen applicant.
Common checks are employment, background and credit checks, to ensure that the tenant is who they say they are, and that they are likely to be able to afford the rent. You can also check with previous landlords.