Did you know that 4.4 million people   were renting in 2021 ?
This figure is great news for landlords all across the United Kingdom looking to earn an extra income by renting out their properties. But bad tenants are bad for business and can cause more problems than they solve, so how do you ensure you find good tenants?

1. Ask for a Rental Application

Ask prospective tenants who are interested in renting your property to provide you with a rental application. You might be able to find a rental application template online . Alternatively, you might choose to make your own.

Rental applications cover the vital information that you need to know before you take on a tenant, such as a tenant’s financial, employment, and personal information.

The application could have information about :

  • current and/or previous employment history
  • current income
  • other financial information (such as bank accounts and credit cards)
  • information of previous places the tenant has lived and contact information for the landlord
  • personal information (for example, if the tenant has any pets and how many people will be living in the rental property)
  • and references of people who can vouch for the tenant.

Once you get the form back from prospective tenants, make sure you check that they filled everything in. If they haven’t filled everything in, ask them why there are any blanks. Missing information could be a sign that the tenant is trying to hide something.

2. Check Their Credit History

One of the biggest worries a landlord faces is their tenants not paying rent. But this simple screening step can eliminate that concern altogether. Before you find the right tenant, make sure you check out their credit history. 

You can use companies such as Experian , Equifax , but be aware that there would be a little fee to pay.

A credit report and score will show you:

  • if they’ve had any late payments
  • their credit card payments 
  • and any financial issues such as bankruptcy.

You’ll also be able to see if the tenant has any debt. This may help to indicate whether or not the tenant will be able to make regular rent payments.

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3. How to Do a Background Check on a Tenant

Running a background check on a tenant is a good way to find out who will be living in your property.

If you’re wondering how to run a background check on a tenant, you can get in touch with companies who specialize in these types of checks. The checks will cost you, but you’ll receive their public records, eviction history, and criminal history. 

Prospective tenants who have evictions or criminal records might be unreliable and dangerous. However, you might want to give the tenant a chance to explain themselves or give them a chance if the criminal record was for minor offenses when they were young.

4. Contact the Tenant’s Employer and Previous Landlord

The best way to find out if a tenant is reliable is to ask those they know. Contact the potential tenant’s employer and verify their income and reliability.

However, not all employers can provide information about the tenant’s income or other private information, but the employer will be able to verify if the tenant works there. 

Another person to contact is the previous landlord of the tenant. Most landlords will ask if the tenant pays their rent and to confirm that the tenant is moving out.

You could also ask about the tenant’s lifestyle, including any debts or damage they’ve caused to the property. You could also inquire about any complaints from neighbours or whether the tenant is getting the full security deposit back when they move out.

5. Interview the Tenant

Another way you can tell if the tenant is right for your rental property is by giving them a quick interview. This could either be a quick call before they come and view the property, or you could ask them questions as they look around. 

After all the checks have been done, this interview is just a chance for you to find out a little more about them. You might want to ask the tenant if they have any pets, if they plan on getting a roommate, what their working hours are, if they smoke, or if they plan on having friends or family stay over.

These simple lifestyle questions will help you to understand who the tenant is and whether they are the right fit for you and your property. It’s also a chance for you to go over the rules. For example, if they smoke then you might want to remind the tenant that your property is smoke-free and that they’ll have to smoke outside.

Although the above screening process is fairly straightforward, it does take time. Luckily there’s another way you can find a tenant faster and start earning money sooner, by recruiting a rental property management company to do it for you. 


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