Letting property can be a bit of a minefield, especially if you are new to the industry. Use these six tips to avoid letting to bad tenants.

1) Referencing
This is an area you don’t want to skip. It is easy to find out upfront what sort of tenant someone is likely to be, and this can save headaches later. Ask for a reference from a previous landlord and you will see how they have behaved in the past.

2) Credit check
Is your prospective tenant the type of person who has left a trail of debts behind them or do they pay on time every time? Credit checks can be carried out with reputable companies such as Experian or Equifax, which can save hassle later.

3) Guarantor
So, your prospective tenant has a glowing report from their last landlord and the highest score on their credit check, but you are still nervous about whether their income will cover the rent. You can ask them to have someone sign as a guarantor for them. This is usually a parent or close family member. This means that if the tenant defaults on the rent, you have someone else you can chase for the money as well. This makes things a lot safer for you.

4) Check ins
Before you hand over the keys, it is a good idea to carry out a check in with the tenant. This means that you can record the exact state of the property before the tenant moves in. It protects you if the tenant causes some damage while they are there, but it also covers the tenant if it has been recorded that some damage was already there. Use a property inspection app such as Inventorybase to make things easier for you (https://inventorybase.co.uk/).

5) Interim checks
These can be carried out to make sure the property remains in a similar state to how it was let and doesn’t let the property fall into disrepair. According to the Property Ombudsman, a tenant should be allowed ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property. However, the nature and frequency of the inspections can be agreed between landlord and tenant at the outset.

6) Check outs
This is like a check in. Carry out the same inspection when the tenant moves out and you can compare both reports for any discrepancies.

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