Good Tenants Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

It’s a regular question from new and potential landlords – I want to rent property as part of my long term investment planning but what if I get a bad tenant?  How can I avoid someone coming in and making a mess or not paying rent?

Tenants are part of society and like all of society there are good people and bad people and fortunately we live in a country where the good people far outweigh the bad.  In summary therefore the majority of tenants are excellent people wanting a home to enjoy however there are some people out there who don’t adhere to the normal civil rules of society so how do you as a landlord reduce your chances of renting to such people.  We asked our Val West for her top tips to avoid a problem tenant.
For a landlord there is never a cast iron way to avoid a tenant arising with a tenant.  You can do all the checks in the world and issues can still arise.  What you can do is mitigate the potential issues with a new tenant.
  • Rule No1 – what do you expect me to say, always use a letting agent.
  • Legislation has been changing over the past few years with more to come at the turn of the year.  Using a letting agent will ensure that a landlord keeps on top of all these changes and prevents a potential issue arising with a tenant not thinking that the landlord is doing their “bit”
  • A letting agent will also keep things on a business setting.  No-one likes confrontation but avoiding the first inkling of an issue could lead to a bigger problem.  This is a letting agents day to day business
  • Properly reference a tenant no matter what.  Some of the worst issues I’ve seen is where a “mate” or relative of a friend have gone in as tenants and no referencing was done.  Always reference.  Preferably use a proper referencing agency who will check employment, affordability and track record of tenant
  • If renting out to students look for a guarantor – and reference the guarantor
  • If unsure about the tenant’s financial position but you want to rent to them, see if they can pay a part of their rent up front
  • All rental deposits should be held in government approved schemes (there are 3).  In the event of an unresolvable dispute they will mediate.
  • Have a nice, well presented flat – This may sound counter intuitive when discussing the potential of a bad tenant but from my experience the nicer the flat the more potential tenants will want to live there.  This gives a wider choice minimising possible hobsons choice of a tenant you’re not sure about or no tenant.

Fortunately the instances of bad tenants a few and far between, especially if you use a good agent.  At Indigo Square we have not had to start eviction procedures on any tenant for over 12 months and we hope to keep it that way however we provide insurance for landlords in the event that we do and this pays rent to landlords when a tenant doesn’t and covers any legal costs incurred in evicting a tenant.  If you would like to find out more contact our office today.