How to avoid tenants from Hell!

Prevention is better than cure – how to avoid bad tenants 

We recommend you do the following before you let your property;

Carry out full credit & Referencing checks on your tenants. Credit and referencing are not expensive at all. This should show if the addresses and tenant names provided are correct. The report should show the tenant’s credit history, which is very telling.

Try getting a guarantor. Request the tenant to provide a guarantor, ideally a homeowner. Ensure you get credit and reference checks done on the guarantor, too. Request the guarantor to provide I.D. and evidence of property ownership. Double-check with HMLR that the guarantor is the registered owner.

Maintain an up-to-date inventory. Have it done by a professional inventory company. Inventory is vital, and landlords often overlook it.

Make sure you use a good comprehensive tenancy agreement. It is important to have a well-written tenancy agreement that covers you and the tenant should a dispute or a problem arise.

The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. * If the tenant is going to pay a deposit, make sure you protect it in good time within 30 days. You are required to protect the tenant’s deposit in one of the government-backed schemes. You must give to the tenant within 30 days (1) a deposit certificate (2) the deposit prescribed information.

Do not give the tenant a tenancy agreement or keys to the let property before you have received a deposit.

Gas safety certificate – (applicable only if the property has gas) You must give the tenant the gas safety certificate when you let the property. If you give this to the tenant late, any section 21 notice served, could be deemed as invalid (correct as of 17/10/18).

EPC – You must give the EPC to the tenant when letting the property. You cannot by law advertise your property to let unless and until you have a valid, current EPC.

How-to Rent Guide—By law, you must also give the tenant a “how-to rent guide” when letting a property.

Check expenditure versus income via three months of bank statements. Request the tenant(s) to provide evidence of income, wage slips and bank statements. Check the income against tenants’ expenditures.

Forged Documents

Watch out for forged references, passports or driving licenses.

Ensure work references are valid – for example, ring the company switchboard and not a direct dial telephone number. This may assist you to ensure you’re speaking to the person you think you are.

Evicting a tenant. Make sure you adhere to the above. Failing to deal with the *above elements of your legal obligations could result in you finding it difficult to evict the tenant.

The British Landlords Association is a national landlords association for UK landlords. It is one of the largest landlord associations in the UK. Join us now for £79.95!

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This post is for general use only and is not intended to offer legal, tax, or investment advice; it may be out of date, incorrect, or maybe a guest post. You are required to seek legal advice from a solicitor before acting on anything written hereinabove.

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