What do you look for in a tenant?

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    What do you look for in a tenant?

    Hi folks,

    First time landlord here. Moving abroad for a few years and renting out our lovely home. Have just received CTL from our mortgage provider for 2 years.

    Handily enough, there is an estate agents next door to us who we have always got on with. We are paying them 10% per month to manage the property completely. We are charged a one off £100 fee for tenant referencing, 12 month legal protection and eviction insurance. The rent is £1,050 and a lady has viewed and is interested. She has offered £1,000. I have requested with the EA that I have a call with her to 'screen' her before checks are done as she has asked for reduced rent. I have no issue reducing the rent if I feel like she is a good fit and will look after the property.

    What do you look for in a tenant?
    • Employment - in full time employment (Would you look unfavorably if in probation period?)
    • Salary - Using rent affordability calculators it says you should be earning £30,000 to afford £1,000 pcm. How much would you drop this to if it was a couple in full time employment?
    • Personal circumstances - ask why they are looking to move/leave their last place?
    • Date they can move in (again, if the right people I would like to be flexible)

    If we were happy with her and then requested that the EA go through the normal checks what would you want to make sure is carried out?
    • Credit check
    • ID check
    • Employment check
    • Previous landlord check
    • Payslip check
    • Electoral roll check
    • Request bank statements to analyse (is this a thing?)

    Do you think I am being too intrusive by asking for a phonecall first? I feel that if I was going to drop the rent then I would like to have a little chat and get to know them a bit more.

    Any other advice is more than welcome

    Thanks,

    Fitz

    #2
    Don't drop the rent.
    Asking for a reduction isn't a negative, but if £1050 is the right rate, decline the offer.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      I think it's right.

      But when the EA valued it, they said £1,000 to £1,050. I felt that £1,050 was more the market rate.

      They have offered what the EA originally vallued it as (lower band).

      Would you still decline?

      Comment


        #4
        I keep seeing in a few threads about asking for a tenants Bank Statements. I honestly have to ask what are you looking for.

        If you are looking at income, Payslips and employers reference can cover that. If you are looking at the rent they paid previously it would be covered by the landlords reference.

        The only reason I can see to look at someones bank account is that you want to judge what they spend their money on. that you can go through it with a fine tooth comb and see if they are worthy based on their purchases. It comes across to me that anyone that would ask such a thing would be the kind of landlord who will be constantly checking on their tenants to ensure they are living the way that they expect themselves to live, not how they want to live. It should be a massive red flag to any tenant.

        Comment


          #5
          Good point.

          The only thing that could draw a red flag from bank accounts that i can think of is erratic gambling.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by The_Fitz View Post

            I think it's right.

            But when the EA valued it, they said £1,000 to £1,050. I felt that £1,050 was more the market rate.

            They have offered what the EA originally vallued it as (lower band).

            Would you still decline?
            What has the interest in the property been like? If this is the only person that has made an offer, you may not get any better. You might get the amount you are after but if you wait longer than a month to get someone in, you lose the difference you would have made renting to this person.

            Comment


              #7
              First time renting, but in my opinion slow.

              Was advertised a month ago today. Think it's had about 6/7 viewings, and one offer.

              Comment


                #8
                Currently we are marketing our 675 quid a month 3 bed semi for the 3rd time since 2015. It probably should be 725 quid to weed out the dross.

                I look for lack of complication.

                No guarantors.
                No benefits.
                Full time permanent job (and I will think about the stability of the type of work carefully)
                No CCJs
                Shortest Void.
                Rental History

                So we had 5 applications, 2 were risky in my opinion and I went with the single bloke, who works as a manager for the council. Unfortunately I foolishly didn't check when he was prepared to take over the tenancy, so we ended up doing more viewings. 3 more applications. We went with the couple with a child. Policeman. My only reservation is that they haven't lived together before. (it's not his kid) But they meet all the other criteria.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
                  ............
                  ..................
                  No benefits.
                  .................
                  MOST UK adults are in receipt of one benefit or another: Do you really want to reduce your market by over a half?

                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would accept £1000 if she is good. Have you made an arrangement with HMRC to pay the tax, which is a requirement if you're moving abroad. If not then the agent may have to deduct it from the rent and pay it over

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think your experience living there and knowing the area will be invaluable.

                      Things to consider -

                      Does she have a social network in the area (family/friends)
                      Does she have kids? Is there a school locally they will/can attend.
                      What are public transport service like? Or will she need a car to get around? If so, does she.

                      Once she passes all the normal checks Ideally you want your tenant to WANT to move into your home because she is familiar with the area, is settled/wants to settle. You want them to have disposable income. If they're stretched, doesn't bode well for you.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        One thing you may also want to ask. Does the tenant know that this is only going to be a temporary thing and that she will have to move again in a few years when you return? She may change her mind if she was intending to stay for 10 years.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          DPT57,

                          Spoke to her on the phone there. She sounds very nice.


                          I said about the tax to the EA and he said that it was up the the landlord, which I don't think is the case. As they maybe don't have a clue about an overseas landlord how do I go about contacting the HMRC to tell them what's going on? Just ring their general number?

                          This will be my only UK income, I'm hoping there will be no tax to pay at all as it will be below the personal allowance but want to make sure it's all legit.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ExpertInAField View Post
                            One thing you may also want to ask. Does the tenant know that this is only going to be a temporary thing and that she will have to move again in a few years when you return? She may change her mind if she was intending to stay for 10 years.
                            Yep - totally aware and fine with it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by The_Fitz View Post
                              I said about the tax to the EA and he said that it was up the the landlord, which I don't think is the case. As they maybe don't have a clue about an overseas landlord how do I go about contacting the HMRC to tell them what's going on? Just ring their general number?
                              Inevitably there's a form you need to fill to ask HMRC if the tax needs to be deducted or not.
                              https://www.gov.uk/tax-uk-income-live-abroad/rent

                              I'd worry about that letting agent - while it's not the most common landlord query, it's hardly the most unusual and them not knowing the correct position isn't a good start.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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