Tenant checks

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    Tenant checks

    Hi, just a question about how you find tenants and carry out checks for references and pay details etc. Do you do this yourself or use an agency? I have in the past used 'openrent' but I am not sure whether I would use them next time. I don't feel confident doing the checks myself as I have never done this. Openrent do offer a good value service but I don't like the fact that I felt as though I had to decide on 1 tenant (out of several that were interested in the property) to take to the referencing stage. Do other providers allow more than 1 potential tenant to be referenced at the same time in order for the landlord to choose the best tenant? What do you think is the best way of doing it? Thanks

    #2
    I use an agency for both tenant find (and checking etc) and for management.

    The agency are hyper strict about tenant selection (helped by the location and demand) and know, if anything goes wrong, they'll have to sort it out.
    As a consequence, nothing goes wrong (well it does, but at an acceptable "life eh?" level.

    That does cost me quite a lot, and it's perfectly possible to do it yourself.

    Although other's disagree, the one option I don't recommend is using an agent for tenant search and then managing the property yourself.
    Your interests and the agents aren't aligned in that model, they want a tenant in place (there's no downside if they're not good, and, in fact, you might even use them again to replace a crappy tenant), while you want a good low effort tenant (who are harder to find).
    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
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      the one option I don't recommend is using an agent for tenant search and then managing the property yourself.
      Your interests and the agents aren't aligned in that model, they want a tenant in place (there's no downside if they're not good, and, in fact, you might even use them again to replace a crappy tenant), while you want a good low effort tenant (who are harder to find).
      Absolutely correct.

      The most critical screening checks you do are the ones you will and must do yourself (assuming you do not use an agent - (I avoid agents like the plague). Give each prospective tenant a form to fill in. Here are some questions., They usually sort out the wheat from the tenants that will cause you endless grief.

      It is formatted in LaTeX so ignore the code and you will get the idea (I haven't time to clean it up right now)

      Your first name:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Your surname:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy):\dotfill&\Qlinef{3cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Relationship of joint applicants to you:\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.48\textwidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Proposed tenancy start date:\dotfill&\Qlinef{3cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Have you ever been known by any other name?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{othername}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{othername}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]\hline
      If Yes to above provide details and dates:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{6}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Current address}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]
      Your address (including postcode):\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{4} \\[6pt]\hline
      Are you the: homeowner/private tenant/living with relatives?:\dotfill&\Qlinef{5cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Time at current address (dd/mm/yyyy):\dotfill&from \Qlinef{2.4cm}{}{}{qf}{1} to \Qlinef{2.4cm}{}{}{qf}{1}\\[6pt]
      If less than 4 years then please provide previous addresses \& dates of all past addresses for the last 4 years:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{12}\\[6pt]
      Telephone number (home):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1} \\[6pt]
      Telephone number (work):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1} \\[6pt]
      Telephone number (mobile):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{ 1}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Current landlord}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]
      Full name of current landlord:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Full name of letting agent:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Address of current landlord or letting agent:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{4}\\[6pt]
      Telephone number (home):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1} \\[6pt]
      Telephone number (work):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1} \\[6pt]
      Telephone number (mobile):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.75\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{ 1}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Personal Referee details if required}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]
      Full name:\dotfill&\Qlinef{6cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Address:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{4}\\[6pt]
      Telephone number:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Relationship to you:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Current Employment Details}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]
      Are you currently Employed?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{employed}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{employed}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Name of current employer:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Address of current employer:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{5}\ \[6pt]
      Telephone number:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Email address:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Date employment commenced (dd/mm/yyyy):\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Position held:\dotfill&\Qlinef{4cm}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Contact name \& position:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      Your salary (including bonuses etc):\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.5\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      If self employed provide details such as company statements, details of your lawyer or accountant, a copy of your last tax return or other information you think might be helpful:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{7}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Other Income and assets}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]\\[6pt]
      Do you receive any of: housing benefit, income support, unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, retirement pension, disability allowance? Provide details:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{7}\\[6pt]
      Will you be claiming housing benefit or local housing allowance?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{housingben}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{housingben}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Do you have assets (such as property which you own) or savings particularly if your income from employment is low in comparison to your rent? Please provide rough details if applicable (you might later be asked for evidence if this proves relevant to your application):\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil} {7}\\[6pt]
      Are your employment circumstances likely to change in the next year? If so, how?&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{7}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Other Details}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]\\[6pt]
      Are you a smoker?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{smokerme}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{smokerme}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Is anybody who will be living with you a smoker?\footnote{Smoking is not permitted in this property, either by tenants or their guests. If you or your fellow tenants are smokers or if you wish to have guests smoking indoors, this property will not be suitable for you.}\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{smokerthem}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{smokerthem}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Is anybody who will live with you a smoker?\footnote{Smoking is not permitted in this property, either by tenants or their guests. If you or your fellow tenants are smokers or if you wish to have guests smoking indoors, this property will not be suitable for you.}\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{smokerthem}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{smokerthem}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Do you have any pets? If so, what?\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.5\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\\[6pt]
      National Insurance number:\dotfill&\Qlinef{0.5\linewidth}{}{}{qb}{1}\ \[6pt]
      Do you have any county court judgements against you in the past 10 years?:\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{ccjs}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{ccjs}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Have legal proceedings ever been commenced against you by any landlord or letting agent for any reason including Section 21 eviction, whether such proceedings were successful or not?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{evict2}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{evict2}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Have you been made bankrupt or been subject to any insolvency arrangements or agreements:\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{bankrupt}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{bankrupt}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Have you ever been evicted from rented accommodation for any reason:\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{evict3}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{evict3}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Do you owe money to any Housing Benefit Department or any Local Authority?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{owecash1}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{owecash1}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Do you owe monies or dilapidation monies to any previous Landlord whether or not you feel that this is correctly owed or not?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{owecash2}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{owecash2}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Do you have substance or alcohol abuse problems?\dotfill&Yes: \radioButton{boozer}{12bp}{12bp}{Yes} No: \radioButton{boozer}{12bp}{12bp}{No}\\[6pt]
      Is there anything else which you consider to be relevant to this application? If so what?:\dotfill&\Qlinef{\linewidth}{}{}{nil}{8}\\[6pt]
      \rowcolor{DarkSeaGreen}\textbf{Declaration and Authorisation}&\\*\nobreakhline\\*[4pt]
      \multicolumn{2}{p{\dimexpr(0.98\linewidth)+2\tabco lsep\relax}}{I apply for a tenancy as per this application. I confirm that the information provided is true and accurate, and I authorise the
      landlord or agent and TenantVERIFY® to seek additional information and carry out credit checks and referencing by contacting
      agencies, organisations and individuals as necessary. I confirm that I have raised any concerns with the landlord or agent and I
      understand that tenancies obtained with false information can be terminated. Completing this application does not commit the
      landlord or tenant to a tenancy. Your Signature Print Your Name Date}

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for those replies. Hadn't considered that point about agency and landlord interests not being the same if only using agency for tenant find. Of course it seems obvious now pointed out!
        AndrewDod - thanks for that list of questions. Do you show tenants around a house and give the form to anyone interested and then just do references and credit checks etc for the best of the bunch based on the forms?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by hariba View Post
          AndrewDod - thanks for that list of questions. Do you show tenants around a house and give the form to anyone interested and then just do references and credit checks etc for the best of the bunch based on the forms?
          My experience is that at least 75% of tenants met at the property, asked a few basic questions and looked in the eye can be excluded at first pass. So no I only send the questionnaire to potential tenants, being careful not to discriminate based on anything other than their potential as good tenants.

          Comment

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