This month, we’re going to show you how to properly investigate a prospective tenant because a bit of detective work before the start of a tenancy could save you a whole lot of pain in the future.
Magnifying glass at the ready, let’s begin…
The key to any case is to go beyond the routine checks. Gathering bank statements and employment and rental histories will only tell you one thing about a person: they are capable of paying rent. Sure, that’s a big tick in the box, but it won’t protect you when that smiley face at the home open turns into a nightmare.
SEARCH THOSE SOCIALS
It always surprises us that more landlords don’t trawl Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc before signing on the dotted line.
It’s hands-down the easiest way to see if you’ve got a party animal about to take up residence in your property. You’ll probably find some other small clues as to the type of renter you’re about to take on.
There could be evidence that they’re planning to sneak in a pet once you hand over the keys. Smoking might be a red flag for you or tinkering with a multitude of car engines might have the alarm bells ringing.
Whatever the potential issue, get social to see if they’re anti-social.
REVIEW THE RAP SHEET
At Elevate, we use all the tools at our disposal to minimise the level of risk for our clients and subscribing to services like Equifax is another step towards peace of mind.
Has your potential renter been blacklisted by any companies? How is their credit score? Have they fallen foul of real detectives and landed a criminal record?
Some things are simple to check, but what if a tenant isn’t allowed to stay in the country? Visa validations are all part of our service. We also protect you from identity fraud with a series of data source checks that confirms the prospective tenant is who they say they are.
WORK ON A HUNCH
So, the paperwork lines up and points to your prospective renter being a superstar, but all the best detectives work on hunches, and you should too.
Having dealt with hundreds of applicants, the Elevate team is like a pack of bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing out a potentially tricky tenant. We always include our gut feeling in our reports to our clients, as it may sway your selection if there are several applicants.
Without giving away too many tricks of the trade, people asking way too many questions or those with an argumentative nature are flagged. These traits may not come across at an open home but be wary of some professions that might attract those kinds of people. Without naming and shaming certain occupations!
We hope that’s given you the confidence to do a bit of detective work the next time you’re looking for a new tenant. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The rental application world is full of obvious things, which nobody by any chance ever observes’.
p.s. Despite our rigorous processes, we don’t always get the flawless renter in a property – we’re not perfect! However, the team at Elevate are always there to deal with any issues for the smoothest landlord experience possible.