Screening, Vetting and Credit Checking

You’ve met with a prospective tenant and they appear to be perfect, all smiles and well-presented, but we all know that you can’t take them at face value. You have to make sure that you screen them thoroughly to ensure there are no issues once the lease is signed. Here are our top tips when it comes to screening, vetting and credit checking potential tenants.

woman with pen on paper

Screening

  1. Create an application form that covers everything you need to know about the tenant, no matter how small that question may be.
  2. Check their employment history. If they’ve changed jobs frequently over the last few years, this may raise some red flags.
  3. Make sure you get a previous landlords contact details, this way you can easily ask them if they ever gave late payments or caused any issues in their previous property.

wallet with bank card
Credit Checking

  1. Credit checking allows you to see if your prospective tenant has any outstanding loans which may impact their ability to be able to pay their rent on time.
  2. Checking their public records will show you if they’ve undergone any evictions and is, therefore, a very important factor to consider before picking a new tenant.
  3. Make sure you get your prospective tenants addresses for the last three years as well as their current bank account details, otherwise you won’t be able to run a credit check on them.

discussion over table with paper and pen

Vetting

  1. Make sure to put everything in writing and keep all documents on file. Whether it’s a short phone call with a new tenant or a long email. Keep yourself organised to avoid problems further down the line
  2. Remember ‘Right to Rent’. This is now a legal obligation for all landlords and immigration checks must be conducted on all prospective tenants at least 28 days before the start of the tenancy.
  3. Figure out who’s really interested. If you’re conducting your own property viewings or a lettings agency is, make sure to figure out who’s keen to move in. This way, your property is less likely to remain empty for too long.

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