How to avoid bad tenants

How to avoid bad tenants


It’s the bane of many a landlord’s life and can make letting a property an incredibly stressful experience- so much so that bad tenants are now the subject of several TV shows.

So, how do you spot the people who have the potential to cause you stress and damage your investment? Just follow this short guide.

Tenant referencing

“Fully checking out potential tenants is something that should never be scrimped on. It’s essential that you take the time to check everything from employer references and pay checks to previous landlord appraisals, and don’t forget the credit check” says Reigate estate agent, Robert Leech. All of these things are time consuming and complicated without the right experience, knowledge and plenty of time – so it pays to employ a reliable referencing agency to do it all for you.

Stay away from cash payers

If someone is unwilling to provide bank details but has a big stash of cash, alarm bells should ring. The best case scenario is that they have a bad credit history, and the worst is that they could  well be involved in dodgy dealings such as drug peddling or trafficking. “Always insist on a standing order or direct debit and if they refuse, remember you have the right to turn them down” advises Andrew Reeves.

Shop around

Your property is your investment, so you don’t have to settle for the first tenant who comes along. It makes sense to interview a number of people before signing on the dotted line, so advertise in as many places as you possibly can to improve your chances of finding the model tenant.

Go with your gut

The human body is great at telling us when something is wrong, so always listen to your gut feeling. Sometimes a person will present very well and tick all the right boxes on paper, but if you’re feeling uncomfortable there’s probably a good reason. Again, you don’t have to go with the first tenant that comes along so just wait a little longer.

Avoid hagglers

Another red flag is anyone trying to knock you down to a cheaper price. If people haggle from the outset it might mean they have money troubles, so stick to your guns and be very clear about your expectations.

Have a bullet proof tenancy agreement in place

People can be very skilled at creating a positive image of themselves at first to get others on side, only to turn out to be unreliable and untrustworthy once they’ve reeled you in. Never be tempted to soften the rules and always have a proper contract signed before the tenant moves in. It will protect both of you and result in far fewer sleepless nights if things do go wrong.

Use an agent

Becoming a landlord can be a life changing experience, and not always in a good way. It’s time consuming, hard work and often stressful, so it makes good sense to hand all the hard work over to a reputable agent. “It will save you a great deal of time and effort, leaving you to enjoy watching your money to grow” is the advice from Best Gapp.

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