Commercial Property

Identifying Tenants Who Could Cause Problems.

When it comes to letting a property, it can be tempting to accept the first tenant who makes an offer. After all, any rental void can mean unwelcome costs for landlords who understandably don’t want to see their properties lie empty.

However, from refusing to pay their bills and trashing the property to alienating neighbours and refusing to exit the property, allowing the wrong tenant into a property can be a disaster. There are ways to mitigate against bad tenants – taking out landlord’s insurance and taking the necessary measures to serve tenants with a Section 21 notice are your best forms of protection. But it would save a lot of time if you could spot a bad tenant before you actually rented them a property.

With that in mind, here are some warning signs to be aware of when meeting prospective tenants and help you consider them more carefully before accepting their offer.

First impressions count

Use your common sense when it comes to meeting a prospective tenant. While everyone’s capable of having a bad day, tenants who are repeatedly late, cancel meetings or behave in an aggressive manner during viewings are tenants that you might want to consider twice before renting a property to them.

Double-check all references

Tenants should be asked to provide a reference from both their employer and their previous landlord. It’s also worth obtaining a specialised credit check, for which you’ll need permission from the tenant. Those who kick up a fuss or drag their heels over references are giving a clear indication of the kind of tenant they would be: one to be avoided.

Show me the money

While a tenant who wants to pay six months’ rent on the spot might sound like just the sort of person you’d like to have in your property, beware of an ulterior motive. They could be offering instant money to avoid a detailed credit check or because they don’t want you to visit and inspect the flat while they’re living there.

Conversely, tenants who ask if they can pay the deposit in instalments rather than upfront should also be avoided. Not being able to procure the full deposit might indicate they will have trouble getting the rent together every month and paying in part will make it difficult for a landlord to register a deposit with a protected scheme.

So making sure you choose the right tenants for your property is an important part of being a landlord as you don’t want to be up to your knees in problems.

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