Landlords who decide not to use a letting agent should choose their tenants very carefully, and consider referencing. Before signing up a tenant, we advise that landlords should always use a legally drawn-up Tenancy Agreement.
There is also a handy checklist available here for letting a property.
We would also recommended following this comprehensive checklist in order to ensure a secure tenancy.
- Is the tenant employed on a permanent contract basis? Check with their employer
- What about affordability?
- What about credit worthiness?
- Self-employed? Ask to see their accounts for last three years. If this is not available, an accountant’s reference is a viable alternative, or if you are still not satisfied, insist on six months rent in advance.
- Can you see their passport or photo driving licence? Ask them to sign something, then check signature against passport or driving license.
- Can you see utility bills from the last three years? (To check their last addresses)
- Request a reference from any previous landlords.
- If they are from overseas, can you see their work permits?
A problem can arise whereby the tenant is working temporarily in the area of the property. We would recommend popping in occasionally to make sure the property is not overcrowded. Cases have been known where two or three people sign up for a flat, then sub-let the couch and floors to half a dozen other people.
Give us a call if you are concerned about any part of the process.