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How do you know if you are getting a ‘good’ tenant?

When letting a property a landlord has two really big decisions to make.

Both these key choices can have huge implications on their health, wealth and quality of life.

Firstly you need to choose a letting agent with experience and a good track record.

Secondly the letting agent needs to have thorough vetting procedures in place to ensure you get the right kind of tenant.

Poorly vetted tenants can cause the most problems and letting agencies that don’t have stringent checks in place leave their landlords vulnerable. Bad tenants mean trouble for everyone involved.

I’ve always believed that one of the most important parts of my role as a Lettings Agent is to ensure the right tenants are placed in the right properties.

So how do I ensure we get good tenants for our landlords? Well, during my 28 years in the property lettings business I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) what to look out for.

The first stage of the vetting process is the initial enquiry. Be it a phone call, email or someone popping into my office I’m looking for signs to show me whether they will be a good or bad tenant. Experience pays dividends here.

So what makes a good tenant?

Simply someone who pays their rent on time, respects the property and is reasonable to deal with.

These are all factors which can contribute to a successful long term let (or short term let, if that is what the landlord requires).

The next part of the process is also very important.

Good quality referencing is vital for ascertaining credit history as well as ensuring the tenant has the means to pay the rent.

Referencing covers employment, credit and previous rental history and while it is very important it’s not a 100 per cent guarantee that the tenant will be a good one.

But when done properly and used with the first stage of the process it is usually a very good indication of the calibre of the person applying to rent your property.

Once a tenant has been selected it’s important for the property to be professionally and ethically managed. Keeping a tenant waiting for an unreasonable amount of time for, say, a washing machine / boiler repair could well lead to problems in the future.

(I also apply a vetting process to my landlords. Someone not willing to repair or maintain their property properly will usually cut corners elsewhere and be a problem to deal with.)

A final thought links to a blog I wrote recently: /blog/could-your-best-tenant-become-your-worst-nightmare

If a lettings agent over prices a property’s rental value it could lead to extended void periods. These costly episodes put pressure on the landlord and the letting agent to fill the void as quickly as possible and this can mean the vetting process is not rigidly carried out.

Which as I said at the start of this article can lead to a lot of trouble.

Thanks for reading,