How to avoid bad tenants

 8th January 2019

A high number of landlords have had to deal with bad tenants, and that is why it is important to know how to legally screen bad tenants...

In 2013, 59% of landlords had to deal with tenants who didn't pay their rent and over 170 tenants were evicted daily in 2015 according to the latest Ministry of Justice report. It's not a pretty picture.

Choosing the right tenants can save landlords a lot of time and trouble. Bad tenants don't just fail to pay rent, they also damage properties, upset neighbours and give your rental property a bad name locally, meaning that you often end up with a string of dodgy tenants in a row because nobody else will rent from you. Bad tenants have been known to sell drugs from properties, set up marijuana farms in them, run brothels, let alone sellling landlord's furniture, and even - before doing a moonlight flit - ripping out all the wiring, fixtures and fittings and flogging those too!

Legal screening of tenants isn't just sensible, it's a requirement. You should check identities and also establish proof of current address. Our checklist for how to legally screen tenants is:

  • Require a completed application form - don't accept 'talking things over on the phone', this is a favourite device of the dodgy tenant
  • Run a credit check and a background check
  • Speak to any previous landlords
  • Interview the tenant and record their answers in writing - this helps you if you need to take action later.

This will give you a good picture of the individual(s) concerned - if they paid rent on time, if they have been in long term employment, whether there are gaps in their history that should be cause for concern etc. Ask lots of questions about why they are moving and what their future plans are - potential bad tenants often give themselves away at this point.

Where to report bad tenants

If all else fails, there are a number of national databases where landlords can report a bad tenant and research a potential one.

One of the easiest ways to avoid this kind of problem is to work with a reputable agency that is skilled in weeding out troublemakers to give you a problem-free rental. If you'd like to be sure that you are bad tenant protected, call DEU Estates today.

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