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Top 10 tips to prevent bad tenants

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Written by:
09/10/2013
Living next to inconsiderate neighbours can be a nightmare; but letting to bad tenants can really cost. Read our top tips to prevent bad tenants from moving into your property.

Being a landlord can be a really rewarding profession but all of a sudden, when you least expect it, things can change. 

Nothing is worse than a bad tenant. Whether your tenant isn’t looking after your property or constantly not paying on time, the experience can really make a landlord’s life miserable.

Once somebody has taken up residence in your property, it can be a costly and time-consuming process to have him or her removed.

Mark Walton, director of Walton Robinson lettings agents, gives us top ten tips that will get people

Top 10 tips to prevent bad tenants

1. Ask your potential new tenant for a guarantor – the guarantor should ideally be a homeowner with steady long-term employment.

2. Try to obtain the contact details for the tenant’s previous landlord; this can be an invaluable piece of information. Call the landlord and ask specific questions including how they treated the previous property, and if there were any noise complaints or money problems?

3. Sometimes just a casual meeting can nip problems in the bud before they get out of control. Perhaps a recent inspection caused some concern? A quick chat on how to maintain the property better could save things from escalating.

4. Completing an in-depth credit check for a potential new tenant is vital. If the check shows the individual has a long list on record of CCJs, credit cards and missed payments this should show warning alarms that perhaps this isn’t the type of tenant you are looking for.

5. A new scheme launched this year called Let’s Safe provides landlords with a database of consistently bad tenants. This may be worth checking before taking a gamble.

6. Cover yourself with the protection of a lease. Every tenant you lease to should have a copy of the signed agreement. Ensure you make your rules very clear at signing and stick to each and every one of them no matter what the situation is. At the end of the day you’re in the business to make money.

7. Never allow pets. This is just asking for trouble. How do you know the individual is going to care and clean up after them? Redecorating after a troublesome pet can be extremely expensive and time-consuming.

8. Make repairs quickly. If you are quick to repair damage to your property, tenants will see that you are responsible and have pride in your property, which will hopefully ensure they do the same.

9. Ensure you create a move-in inspection report. This will be extremely helpful if your tenant causes damage, as you will have valid evidence of the condition before the tenant lived in the property. It will also ensure you can provide a sufficient reason for withholding the tenant’s security deposit.

10. Use a property management agent. This is a really useful service, especially if you’re a landlord that is located abroad. Using this service means you don’t have to handle any of the hassle including, chasing tenants for late rent and answering midnight calls due to maintenance issues.

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