Being a landlord is a very risky job, and despite how long you’ve been a landlord, there will be things that you will never see coming. Unfortunately, a handful of the problems will be due to the tenant, if you’re not careful. There are websites such as Housinganywhere.com that make it convenient for landlords to find tenants safely and securely. Nevertheless, will receive hundreds of requests on their property. Here are some useful tips on selecting your tenant.
Make sure to check their references.
As much as we hate to admit it, humans are habitual beings. That’s why references are a vital tool that many landlords need to use to their advantage. Merely collecting and storing references is not helpful if you’re looking for the perfect tenant. If you are going to take references, you need to check them! A simple call to the tenant's previous landlord or boss will help you better understand the tenant before you accept them into your home. This will provide you with some key information such as ‘did they set their previous tenants house on fire’ or ‘are they reliable tenants?’
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
First impressions are usually wrong, especially when the tenant is trying to impress you by being on their best behaviour. A way to work around this is by asking some questions. Here are four questions you should never forget to ask.
• What is your income?
While this is a touchy subject, it’s a critical question. The tenant needs to be able to confirm that they are able to pay their rent on time, every single month during their stay. A simple copy of their bank statement should allow you to see if they can make payments on time. Ideally, you’re on a hunt for a tenant with a permanent job that is making at least double the rent requirement.
• Have you ever been evicted?
While the potential tenant avoids telling you the truth, it is worth asking. This will give them the opportunity to explain the situation in full. Make sure to keep an open mind as anyone can fall on hard times. Furthermore, you can always call their previous landlord to make sure the stories line up. If, however, the stories do not match, this might be an indication that the tenant is not trust worthy.
• Why are you moving?
While this question is a great conversation starter between you and your prospective tenant, it can reveal a lot about them. Firstly, if they are moving for reasons such as ‘changing jobs’ or ‘wanting more rooms for their children’, then this is a good sign that they are moving for reasons out of their control. However, if they say that they were evicted due to an argument with their previous landlord or they hated their neighbors, then this should signal some red signs that you should take a closer look at.
• Do you have pets? / do you smoke?
While 1 in 5 people in the UK smoke and 44% of people own pets, the option is still in your hands when it comes to letting someone who smokes or owns a pet into your home. Make sure to ask these questions if you have a strict no pets/smoking policy to avoid wasting your time.
If you cross a tenant who has had a criminal history, this might be a good time to reject their application. A person who has no regards for the law might also disregard your rules. Despite saying this, do not be too hasty, try and understand what type of criminal history they have before making your mind up.
Trust your gut!
While a tenant may be able to pay the full rent on time, if you have a bad feeling about the person, it’s best to reject their application altogether. After all, this is your property, and that gut feeling may just have saved your house from burning in fire.
Written by Shalom from Housinganywhere.com