Being a landlord is not an easy way to make money, particularly as you have to face the inevitable bad tenants. If you are planning to take on the responsibility of being a landlord, you need to know how you can avoid bad tenants. In the following article, we have put together a list of some tips to help.
The most important step of all to finding the ideal tenants and avoid the bad ones, is to reference your tenants thoroughly.
These reference checks should include:
Previous landlord references
References from employers
Previous and current rental details
Employment history and status
Credit score/history checks
Be Cautious of Tenants Who Want To Pay With Cash
Although it can be tempting to take on a tenant who offers to pay their rent upfront, it may be a way of covering over illegal activities. While there are a few reasons why tenants may offer to pay upfront, the two most common are:
The tenant is participating in some form of illegal activity, such as growing or storing illegal substances and therefore doesn’t want to be disturbed by constant visits from the landlord.
They have terrible rental history and are using the money as a diversion to stop you digging into it.
It’s true that this may not be the case with every cash paying tenant, it is something you should be cautious about.
Be Cautious Of DSS Tenants
Whether it is right or wrong, DSS tenants are often seen as being bad tenants.
DSS tenants are recipients of housing benefit from the state to assist with their expenses, such as rent. There are a lot of, though not all, DSS tenants who do not pass the rent from their benefit money on to the landlord.
While it would be wrong to tar everyone with the same brush, it is important that you are cautious with this type of tenant.
Don’t Just Choose The first Tenant That Shows Interest
It is true that the longer your property stays vacant the more it will cost you. That doesn’t mean that you should take on the first tenant that comes along though. Take the time to properly screen possible tenants and make sure they are suitable for the property and right for you.
Don’t Be Scared To Say No
If you are someone who doesn’t particularly like confrontation, this can be a hard thing to do, but sometimes you have to say no or people will just run amok over your. Be fair, yes but firm.
Only Take A Full Deposit
Rather than accepting tenants that are looking to pay their deposit in instalments, only ever accept a full deposit. If they are looking to pay the deposit in instalments that only serves as an indication that they have financial issues.
Early Signs and Mannerisms Associated With Bad Tenants
Bad tenants may not always appear to be bad tenants when you first meet them. However, if you pay close attention to the following signs and mannerisms you could save a lot of trouble by avoiding people that:
Try to haggle the rent or deposit price
They do not give prior warning or an apology when they arrive late for viewings or keep rescheduling them
They have bad body odour and have a somewhat scruffy and unkempt appearance
While there are many other tips and a lot more advice we could offer to you to help you avoid bad tenants, the above should put you on the right path. If you want help finding the right tenants for your rental properties, you could get in contact with Newington Estates who have experience in this side of the real estate market in London and the surrounding areas.