A Quick Way To Find A ‘Good’ Tenant
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there really isn’t a quick way to find a good tenant, if you want to do it properly. I’ve had Landlords say to me “but they are a friend, I trust them”. Unfortunately in some cases it’s these ‘friends’ that end up falling into arrears but think that’s ok as they know the Landlord, most often than not these friendships break down during or after a tenancy. Not referencing a prospective tenant is a bad idea, even if you’ve known them all your life. You never truly know someone’s financial history, they could have numerous credit cards, store cards, and a loan they are paying each month but too embarrassed to tell family and friends.
Through past experience I have learn the first call a prospective tenant makes to arrange the viewing on a property is the most important. Within this call I don’t only take the tenants name and contact details I also ask them about their current situation. For example I ask, why they are moving, when they can move, if notice has already been served and if not what is the notice period, what all tenants do for a living, what the family combined income is. These questions help me to build a picture of who the tenants are and if they can afford the property. Most tenants when they register with me will say other agents don’t ask what the family earning are, I find this extremely strange, as a letting agent you want to make sure the people you are showing around can afford the property otherwise you are wasting their time, yours and the Landlords.
I do believe a full reference on all prospective tenants is required; a credit check alone isn’t enough. A full reference will include a credit check, employment reference and a previous landlord reference (if applicable). I don’t see the benefit in doing a character reference, the tenant isn’t going to put a referee down that will give them a bad reference, this reference isn’t beneficiary.
During the viewing and referencing process this is a good indicator to see how the tenants will react. This stage should be exciting for the prospective tenants, any pre-tenancy paperwork and reference forms should be completed in the timescale set by the agent, if tenants are slow and drag their heels now are they going to report maintenance in a timely manner, spring into action if the standing order hasn’t been set up for the second months rent. All these little snippets give you a fairly good overall feeling of if someone will be a good tenant, unfortunately these aren’t always 100% right and our gut feeling is wrong from time to time.
Therefore as you can see from above, the process to finding a good tenant isn’t a straight forward one which takes time and skills which have been learnt from past experiences where it unfortunately hasn’t always gone right.
If you have any property related questions please do get in touch - I’d love to help you. Please feel free to contact me using the details provided below.
0333 772 0718