The reasons why landlords should check all prospective tenants

Published on 10th September 2019 by Laura West

There are some downsides in owning investment property, despite the steady and passive stream of income that letting property provides – tenants can sometimes cause real problems. It is money which can be earned simply while you sleep, and at a minimal cost for you. Ideally, being a buy-to-let landlord is a stress-free and simple job, whether it is your main source of income, a side job or a simple method for you to earn extra money each month.

However, experts have warned that landlords must be aware of exactly what they are signing up to before they choose to pursue this type of career. The prospect of earning easy money is a tempting thought, and is likely to blind prospective investor landlords from the disadvantages which are inherent in the role of landlord, and the potential disasters that could lie ahead.

Owning a home is an impossible dream for many underpaid, overworked and overburdened younger people who face a lifetime of renting, and having another home at your disposal to rent out is the goal of many. Owning multiple investment homes is often viewed as a guaranteed way to gain financial security, and secure an early retirement.

If you have now reached a point where you can afford to purchase a number of rental properties, then you will be excited to see where this adventure will take you. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind before jumping in too soon, and in an age where the digital footprint of almost everyone is readily available and accessible to research, there is no excuse to not run background checks on your potential tenants.

The days of landlords searching through different archives or services to discover if a tenant has a criminal past are thankfully no more. Though horror stories of nightmare tenants do continue to occasionally surface, they are rare.

Nowadays, you can research and discover if a tenant is trustworthy or not based on simple social media searches and personal details, including credit history checks. This information can be unearthed by using comprehensive background checks on tenants, as it is crucial that you know who you are renting property to. These days, it is common for a thorough and comprehensive background check to take place before any property is rented to an individual.

If your rental property is located in a comfortable and family-friendly neighbourhood with low crime rates, you have a responsibility to make sure that your tenants will uphold these standards. Of course, you will be primarily concerned with how your property is treated, you should take into consideration the entire neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods will depreciate or appreciate in value due to the respectability, cleanliness and safety of those who live there, so it is also in your best interest to choose your tenants wisely in order to protect your investment.

While you cannot control all possible outcomes, you can take some steps to ensure that your tenants are respectable and will contribute to making the neighbourhood a pleasant place to live.

Although eviction can always happen during a tenancy, no landlord wishes for this to take place. One of the most common reasons for eviction is due to negligence and damage to rental properties, which can cost a landlord thousands of pounds and countless headaches.

In order to avoid filing insurance claims, renovating and repairing your property, you must run background checks on your tenants long before they are able to occupy your home in the first place. While ensuring peace of mind, these checks will help you avoid the unnecessary hassle and pain of problematic tenants by taking steps to ensure the tenancy runs smoothly. Free property management software can also ensure that your tenancy goes well, as it will automate many of the day-to-day processes of the job.

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