How landlords can avoid letting to difficult tenants

Picking a suitable tenant could save you from a long and costly eviction process should the worst happen. To increase your odds of finding a responsible and respectable tenant for your property, be thorough in conducting background checks and reference-gathering.

Private landlords can often be less rigorous in background checks than the professional lettings agents in Southend. This could mean any prospective tenants with ulterior motives, might target private landlords in the hope of little or no tenant referencing. For example, police in England and Wales have released statistics stating 20 rented properties a day are found being used as brothels, cannabis farms or for dealing drugs.

At Pace, we find tenants looking to rent property on behalf of private landlords. We request bank statements for the past three months, previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time and credit checks incorporating fraud indicators and employer references.

We also check identity and proof of current address – ideally tax or insurance documents – and talk at length to any prospective tenant. We ask lots of questions about a prospective tenant’s reason for moving and spend time with them during the application process. Our intention is to strike a good relationship with them from the beginning. This also allows us to build up a picture of the person we are dealing with.

To eliminate any future disputes, we also take a full inventory of the property, including photographs where appropriate and request a deposit. This is held in a tenants deposit protection scheme which is now a legal requirement.

Once the tenant has moved into the property, we organise inspection visits every couple of months to ensure the property is being used as per the tenancy agreement and to check the property’s condition. If the tenant is difficult to pin down and it’s hard to agree a time to visit, alarms bells start to ring. Sending in legitimate contractors for gas and electricity safety inspections can be a useful way to assess what’s going on!

If you have a property to let in Southend and would like to find a tenant, please call our lettings department to discuss how our tenant find service may be of interest.

We are happy to offer half an hour of face-to-face advice to local landlords in difficult situations free of charge. Please telephone and ask to speak to Martin, Marcus or Crystal.

Marcus James is Lettings Manager at Pace, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent. He deals with every aspect of the property letting process, providing expert and candid advice together with tailor-made marketing plans for each property he lists for rental.

Marcus prides himself on ensuring our landlord clients get the best return in the right timeframe for their investments by conducting rental appraisals, letting viewings and oversees the running of the lettings department.