May 3, 2011 § 1 Comment
As a property owner I understand how important it is to make sure that the people you rent your house to will care for it as their home.
You meet prospective tenants and they have a look around the property and then decide they want to move in. You’ve only met them for a few minutes. It isn’t easy to decide on face value whether someone is a good tenant.
What to check?
Request full names with documentary evidence of an original passport, driving license or other photographic ID that they might have. Get them to list all addresses in the last five years with landlord/letting agent details for a reference. This is for all occupants over the age of 18 years.
Confirm who they work for. Get the full company name and address, National Insurance number, salary level and a contact name for the company including their current job description. Get them to provide a telephone number and e-mail address.
Take bank reference details and also details of any credit cards, loans etc that the tenant may have. Ask if they have a debt management agreement in place. Some people get into difficulties and ask for help in sorting it out. As long as they can provide a guarantor it may not deter them from taking on a property.
Ask for a guarantor for all housing benefit tenants, students and anyone that doesn’t have a full five years residential history.
Should you check or get a referencing company to do it for you?
Doing reference checking yourself is quite time-consuming and not always as fruitful as a referencing company can be. I would always go with a referencing company. This makes any guidance unbiased. If in any doubt a reference company will ask you to get a guarantor.
Also with a full reference check you can obtain insurance on the tenancy.
April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve been amazed how much I don’t know about other cultures.
As a landlord and letting agent I have met with many people of different cultures. Spending time talking to landlords and tenants alike, I learn a little more each time.
Eclipse’s are very important to the Hindu people and there are many more in a year than I was originally aware of.
The western world operates on a twelve month calendar but many countries do not.
I have much to learn so that I don’t offend my muslim tenants. I’m always offered drinks and sweets and invited in. Without wishing to offend how long is reasonable before taking my leave?
I would welcome feed back to allow me to treat all landlords and tenants with respect.
March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
When letting a property in Greater Manchester, we always remove mail addressed to previous tenants. We let them know that there is mail to be collected at our office, if we still have current contact details. Or we can forward it if we have an address. Uncollected mail is always returned to sender.
New tenants are asked when they move in to mark any mail that is not theirs ‘not known at this address’ and return it to sender. I’m sure most people are honourable. However, we are all well aware, there are a few that are happy to steal identities.
What can be done to prevent this.
Notify all banks, building societies, utility suppliers, magazine subscriptions etc., that you have moved. Alternatively pay for your mail to be redirected by the post office for a few months to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
Gas safety checks are there for the protection of both tenants and landlords. They confirm that all gas appliances in the property were tested safe on a particular day every year. There is a legal requirement to carry them out on an annual basis. This gives peace of mind to tenants that the appliances are safe to use.
Carbon Monoxide kills. Stay safe, ensure you have a certificate.
February 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
As a landlord myself, I decided that it would be a good idea to set up a letting agency.
Why did I want to do this? I personally bought property as an investment, as many others have over the last few years. That property is an investment for the future. My philosophy is if you have well referenced tenants and provide them with a nice home, that is regularly maintained. Then they will look after your investment.
My background as an administration manager stood me in good stead to set up procedures and processes to ensure that all our landlords and tenants are happy. Properties are looked after by utilising good referencing procedures, choosing good tenants and carrying out regular property visits.
I intend to use this blog to highlight some of the good and not so good bits about the letting industry.
Happy reading and welcome 🙂