Landlord's guide to avoiding problem tenants
Problem tenants can cost time and money, leaving landlords with long-term legal battles, damaged properties and rent arrears.
So, we understand the importance of finding the ideal tenant to alleviate stress when leasing or renting your property.
You can never eliminate all of the risks from renting your property. However, there are ways you can minimise issues and prevent them before they become serious problems.
It’s crucial for any landlord to undertake reference checks on prospective tenants to ensure they are suitable for the property. Reference checks usually involve verifying a person’s identification, employment, affordability and background.
All of MakeUrMove’s Good Landlord packages provide tenant reference checks as standard, which ensures landlords have peace of mind, knowing the information tenants have provided is authentic.
Without these checks in place, landlords could easily rent a property to someone who will struggle financially to keep up with rent payments.
It's good practice to draw up tenancy agreements to ensure both renters and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities.
The tenancy agreement should outline what is and isn’t acceptable and who is financially responsible throughout the term of the tenancy. Without this document, if there are any disputes further down the line, a court could favour tenants over a landlord.
A common issue that can arise is anti-social behaviour. This can cause lasting damage to a landlord’s reputation and relationship with immediate neighbours of the property. A tenancy agreement, however, can be used to politely highlight appropriate behaviour with your tenants and ease tensions with neighbouring home owners before it gets out of hand.
With MakeUrMove’s online Tenancy Pack, all documents are stored in one place for ease. Tenants can sign documents virtually whilst the online system provides a trail of when documents are viewed and signed for. This means it can be used as supporting evidence if any future disputes arise.
The online Tenancy Pack includes an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, the Deposit Protection Service Prescribed Information and a Standing Order Mandate.
Regular inspections & inventory
Don’t be a stranger! Make sure you visit your property regularly for formal inspections and to keep up with any maintenance issues before they become a bigger problem. To maintain a courteous relationship with your tenants, ensure you keep them informed of inspections or visits.
An inventory is another key document which can prevent issues further into the tenancy. Make sure you list all the household contents in the inventory and that it is signed by you and your tenants. This can quickly resolve any issues surrounding broken or missing furniture at the end of a tenancy.
With MakeUrMove’s support, landlords can provide tenants with a full inventory report complete with a list of the fixtures, fittings and furniture provided whilst also recording the condition at the start of a tenancy.
This is a must have! Always take a deposit from your tenants to ensure you have protection in case of damages to your property or further disputes arise.
Once you have the deposit, keep it safe in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme to ensure it is protected for both parties.
A guarantor offers landlords an extra layer of protection. They take responsibility for paying any additional costs or losses if the tenant defaults or cannot cover costs such as damages.
Usually enlisting the help of a guarantor is a last case scenario for tenants. So to maintain a positive and amicable relationship, landlords could consider other solutions first. This could include pausing rent or reducing the fee for a short time, if tenants are facing financial difficulties.
Maintaining a good relationship and communication with your tenants can go a long way in preventing and resolving disputes. Make sure your tenant feels heard by checking in regularly. Agree contact preferences with your tenants at the start of the tenancy. Some may prefer to be texted or emailed, while others will be more comfortable with face-to-face catch ups!
When issues do arise, as a landlord try to consider your tenant’s preferences and the challenges they may be facing and be flexible with your recommended solutions.
Looking for support in the management of your rental property? We have a range of packages that can be tailored to your specific needs. Our features include reference checks, deposit lodging, inventories and rent collection. Find out more about our services.