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Quick tips for choosing the right tenant Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:21

Persistent problem tenants can be a big reason for a landlord deciding to sell a tenanted property, so you should take care to choose the best possible tenant, every time. Checking references - not merely collecting them - is vital. Simply by taking a few minutes to phone an employer or other referee, you can confirm that your tenant is decent, reliable and unlikely to fall into arrears.


Requesting a credit check can also be very worthwhile if you're worried about tenants being unable to pay. However, this should be done sensitively. Ask the tenant if they will consent to a check, and if they won't, it isn't necessarily due to an inability to pay. You will therefore need to use discretion. Using an agency can also make it easier and less stressful to find tenants, but you should ideally choose one recommended by another trustworthy landlord.


Time and hassle can also be saved when you ask prospective tenants to complete a standard application form. You can find examples for free online, and they avoid you just collecting scraps of information on paper. Also, don't feel pressured to accept the first prospective tenant that applies. Allow a few days for applications to come in, and carefully consider the person that you would be happiest to do business with.


When deciding who to accept as a tenant, trust your gut. If you don't have a good relationship with the prospective tenant, choose someone else. This makes it necessary to meet the applicant in person. You may live a long distance from the property, in which case, you may send a trusted person to meet the prospective tenant on your behalf. A good rapport with the tenant can certainly be more important than good references.


Taking a deposit is also essential for protecting your property. It means that even if your property is damaged, you will have money to put towards repairs. However, don't forget your legal obligation to put a tenancy deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Let unsuccessful applicants know once you have come to an agreement with a tenant, and make sure that this agreement is written down and outlines the tenancy's terms.


With these precautions taken, if you ever do decide to sell a tenanted property to a cash property buyer like Dream House Buyer, it shouldn't be due to problem tenants. 

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