Filtering Out Bad Tenants

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    Filtering Out Bad Tenants

    Hi all,

    I'm a landlord in Bristol and I have a recurring problem that I need help with...

    I've been using one of the major online renting websites to advertise my property. The only problem is that I get a lot of tenants book viewings who are not up to standard. A couple of times now, the tenant has viewed the property and said they would like it. But two weeks down the line when the checks come back, the references are bad or the guarantor doesn't exist etc. which means I need to re-advertise and start the whole process again. This doesn't just cost me my time but it also costs me rent as these delays have caused my property to be empty for a few weeks now.

    How can I get around this? Is there an online website that spends more time in filtering out the bad tenants and only forwarding the best ones onto me? It takes the Michael a little bit too when the online company keeps the holding deposit from the tenant and doesn't pass any onto me when it's my property that remains unlet!!

    Thanks,

    Pete

    #2
    Originally posted by brislandlord View Post
    Hi all,

    How can I get around this? Is there an online website that spends more time in filtering out the bad tenants and only forwarding the best ones onto me?
    Hi Peter, welcome to the forum.

    I think you have answered your own question, really.

    Don't use an online letting portal if the tenants it turns up are not what you want. No, of course, they don't screen out unsuitable tenants - they just want your money.

    So tell us what kind of tenants you hope to attract (students? young professionals? Families? Older couples?) and we may be able to advise you as to more successful ways of recruiting dependable ones.

    Whatever kind of T you are after, it pays to do the credit referencing yourself via something like TenantVerify - it costs less than £40 and is quick and easy to do.

    The other alternative is to pay a reputable local letting agent to find tenants for you (you don't have to use their management services if you don't want to). There's usually a fixed fee for 'tenant find only' and they have access to more potential Ts than you do. There are however no guarantees with any Ts (unless you insist on a property-owning, UK based Guarantor).
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by brislandlord View Post
      How can I get around this?
      I use an online service too, but really don't have this problem, and I think the answer is actually very straightforward.

      I assume it's you that's actually conducting the viewings? I'm assuming you're allowing viewings of every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks for one? Don't. Speak (yes, speak - it's much easier to get the measure of someone that way than via text or email exchange) to the interested parties first, and do a preliminary interview over the phone. Who's going to be living in the property, are they employed, what job do they do, when are they interested in moving in, where do they live now, why are they moving, do they have kids, dogs, do they smoke...? If it sounds from their job that their income may not be enough to cover the rent, you can either ask what they earn, or better, tell them that tenants need to have a verified income of £X,000 per year to be acceptable to you; will they fit that? You will lose plenty of 'bad' applicants at this point when either you ascertain they aren't going to pass the application, or because they realise they will be wasting their time in applying.

      That said, it's a fine line, and by over-grilling at this stage you might put off good tenants, so if they sound essentially OK after a few questions I'd probably put off the remainder until actually meeting them during the viewing.

      Whatever though, I absolutely do NOT ever take a formal application (ie involving filling out a form, accepting a holding deposit, and getting credit checks done) until I have found the tenant I want, and am 99% sure they will pass the application. Essentially, once they've told me they want the property, and if I want them, then I will in effect ask for any remaining info that I will be finding out from the application there and then verbally, and if all is well I will make it clear to them that the written application is a formality to confirm that what they've told me is true. I have in fact never turned anyone down after putting them through the application (which includes full references and credit checks etc.) and have never had cause to regret that.

      Comment


        #4
        I continue to do viewings after i have started application process with prospective tenant just incase they fail their application. You can usually get a sense of a tenants qualities and situation through a phone call before viewing. A few select questions will filter out any undesirables.

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