Letting for the first time.

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    Letting for the first time.

    Hi all, just wondered if anyone would be willing to give me some advice. Im about to let my house out for the first time and just wanted to check if Im doing the right things. I intend to let on a 6month short term assured tennancy in the first instance and think I have this sorted but what else do I need to do. The property is unfurnished but I understand I need an inventory completing when the tennant moves in. I know the bond needs to be with a TDS and intend to ask for rent to be paid a month in advance. The thing Im not too sure about is credit chacking tennants. Does everyone do this and if so how? I dont really want to use a letting agency if I can avoid it, mainly because my dad, mother-in-law and nanna have all let properties in the past via agents and they've mostly been pretty useless. Also is there anything I should be doing at the start of tennacy other than issuing tennency agreement, getting inventory done and doing credit check (is this the same as getting references). Any help much appriciated.
    Thanks

    #2
    If you are letting for the first time you would probably be well advised to use an agency for a tenant finding service only. Be careful if you do this to read any agreement the agency want you to sign to ensure that you pay them an agreed fee for their services and nothing more which could involve lease renewals or ongoing charges. Don't be afraid to delete any contract terms that you are unhappy about and if the agency starts objecting - just go and find another!
    If you do decide to find your own tenants, then there are credit referencing agencies advertising here which will do this job, but what is more important is obtaining references from tenants, particularly from their previous landlord AND THEN CONTACTING THE REFEREE to check the reference's validity. Some "professional" tenants have been known to forge references and on a modern computer this, complete with letterhead, is a breeze!
    Referees have to be very careful what they put in a written reference which is not favouring the tenant because of possible legal implications. You may learn much more over the telephone!

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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      #3
      A credit check is separate from obtaining references. It will give an idea of their credit rating and should identify any CCJs, for example.

      References are usually sought from employers (to establish that they are in employment and verify their salary). References are often sought from previous landlords to establish the reliability of tenants.

      However, there have been debates on this board about the ease with which references can be faked and that troublesome tenants are likely to be given glowing references from landlords eager to get rid of them.

      Some landlords take them up themselves, some use a third party such as the following to do them all (sometimes charging the tenant for the fee so they don't suffer the expense of the cost of the report for a tenant who is then found not to be suitable).

      http://www.tenantverify.co.uk/

      Other posters have recommended copies of proof of ID, such as passport or driving licence to act against fraud, historic bills (to prove previous addresses) and copies of payslips or bank statements to analyse and prove their income and expenses.

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        #4
        Macca,

        The most important thing to note, is that a bad tenant can cause you no end of problems.

        Spend time checking out everything you can to make sure you get a suitable tenant, as a mistake can cost you time/money & grief.

        Good luck with your first rental.

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          #5
          Thanks everyone have had a few people round and have given out tennancy application forms. A few were really not suitable (one guy turned up drunk, with a reference in his hand typed on plain paper with no date or phone number or contact details !) I was thinking of seeing who returned the forms and then take it from there. (I imagine there will be a couple who don't return them). We have one guy who seems really interested and seems a good bet but I will make sure that we do it properly as we don't want hassle in a few months time. Anyway just wanted to say thanks to the people who replied.
          Cheers

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