Prevention is better than cure – how to avoid bad tenants
We recommend you do the following before you let your property;
Carry out a 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 credit history, which is very telling.
Try getting a guarantor. Request the tenant to provide a guarantor, ideally a homeowner. Ensure you get a credit & reference checks done on the guarantor too. Request the guarantor to provide I.D, evidence of property ownership, double-check with HMLR the guarantor is the registered owner.
British Landlord association members
British Landlord Association members can request an HM land registry report to show title, should you need this.
Maintain an up to date inventory. Get the inventory done by a professional inventory company. Inventory is vital, one thing landlords overlook.
Make sure you use a good comprehensive tenancy agreement. It is important to have a well-written tenancy agreement, which is well written, covering 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 this 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) deposit certificate (2) The deposit prescribed information.
Do not give to 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 to 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 at 17/10/18).
EPC. * You must give the EPC to the tenant at the time of 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 to 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 give you evidence of income, wage slips and bank statements. Check the income against tenants expenditure.
Watch out for forged references, passports or driving licenses.
Make sure 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 evicting the tenant.