The importance of tenant checks when letting property

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The beginning of the letting process can be overwhelming for landlords. There are so many things to be checked off in order to let out your property. This means landlords sometimes overlook parts of the process to rent their property out faster. However, one crucial step that landlords should never fail to do is tenant checks. 

What are tenant checks? 

Tenant checks can confirm your tenants are who they claim and it will highlight any potential issues. Conducting a credit check will ensure your tenant is able to afford the rent, and will show if tenants have failed in paying previous rent. Checks may also include a County Court Judgement search, ID verification, and bankruptcy and insolvency data. Checks will also contact previous landlords for references to check tenants are trustworthy.  

Why you should do them

Spending the extra money and time up front for these checks can ensure you don’t face bills and hassle later on. Failing to do the checks can have costly consequences. 

Take this particular case, where a landlord (we’re gonna call her Sue) had been looking to fill her property in a hurry. She’d agreed to rent her property to a group of tenants without carrying out any tenant checks. It wasn’t until several months later that Sue realised her mistake in doing this. 

The tenancy had ended and the tenants were due to move out, but they refused to vacate the premises. Sue tried everything, but in the end, was forced to go to a solicitor to take further action. Eventually she obtained a court order for a bailiff to evict them. However, the tenants disappeared before he reached the premises! 

They’d run off having failed to pay the final month’s rent and had left the property in awful condition. The windows were broken, the white goods damaged, and rubbish piled across several rooms. Sue ended up losing £15,000 and it cost her another £10,000 to redecorate in order to make the house habitable again. 

If Sue had done tenant checks to start with, she could easily have found out that one of the tenants had had two County Court Judgements. This would have been flagged, and Sue could have rejected the tenant or asked for the total rent to be paid up-front. 

In summary…

Tenancy checks might seem like extra cost and hassle, but in the long run they save landlords huge amounts of time and money.. Companies like Rentalist can help guide landlords through the tenant check process, making it cheap and easy to find great tenants fast! 

For more info for landlords, click here.

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