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andrewjp
22-05-2007, 21:27 PM
i was wondering about advice for the best way to credit check and reference tenants.
does a good reference / credit check guarantee that anyone will pay their rent? Some of the worst tenants come across as the most 'upstanding' people but they can skip rent / trash a house just the same. Is spending money on credit checks worthwhile?
We have taken most of our tenants at 'face value' and 'gut feel' , and if any doubt have asked for an extra month rent up front - so far we have been ok, but i cannot help that we may be taking a risk ; but is their a better alternative?
i would be interested in tyhe experiences and advice of more experienced landlords

J4L
23-05-2007, 05:59 AM
i was wondering about advice for the best way to credit check and reference tenants.
does a good reference / credit check guarantee that anyone will pay their rent? Some of the worst tenants come across as the most 'upstanding' people but they can skip rent / trash a house just the same. Is spending money on credit checks worthwhile?
We have taken most of our tenants at 'face value' and 'gut feel' , and if any doubt have asked for an extra month rent up front - so far we have been ok, but i cannot help that we may be taking a risk ; but is their a better alternative?
i would be interested in tyhe experiences and advice of more experienced landlords

I usually go through life on 'gut feeling' and it hasn't done me too badly up to now. Sadly though I don't think it works in the lettings game. As you say, the most upstanding of people seem to be the ones who let that gut feeling down. There is an agent in our Town who just does refs and doesn't bother with credit checks at all. The boss once said to me 'If I credit checked people we'd NEVER let any houses out.'
I think all you can do is make the tenant pay for this service and make sure there are suitable schemes in place to cover all eventualities.

stick2000
23-05-2007, 08:38 AM
I credit checked my tenants and paid for it myself. The first potential tenant I had said she had no problems but the credit check revealed 3 CCJs and an extremely poor credit score (+1). The credit checks on the tenants I'm taking on came back really good.

I personally think it's £15 well spent.

J4L
23-05-2007, 09:33 AM
I credit checked my tenants and paid for it myself. The first potential tenant I had said she had no problems but the credit check revealed 3 CCJs and an extremely poor credit score (+1). The credit checks on the tenants I'm taking on came back really good.

I personally think it's £15 well spent.

I think what andrewj was saying is that do they really mean anything and I'm sure they can be a 'fair' indicator of certain outcomes. Problem is the tenants with no serious problems with their history are also able to trash a place or not pay their rent. It really is hit and miss although personally I think a check is imperative.
You have to weigh up probability V possibility

stick2000
23-05-2007, 10:48 AM
I can understand where you're coming from - every tenant is a possible risk when it comes to looking after your property and paying rent. Even if you set up a SO there's nothing stopping them cancelling it.

I'm really hoping the tenants I found will cause no problems as god knows hoe I'd pay two mortgages if they failed to pay my rent.

J4L
23-05-2007, 14:54 PM
I can understand where you're coming from - every tenant is a possible risk when it comes to looking after your property and paying rent. Even if you set up a SO there's nothing stopping them cancelling it.

I'm really hoping the tenants I found will cause no problems as god knows hoe I'd pay two mortgages if they failed to pay my rent.


Why not invest in some rent guarantee insurance???

DianeB
23-05-2007, 16:47 PM
Andrew, I think we all end up following our own criteria when taking on tenants. For me personally, I would do a credit check for the very reason Stick2000 mentioned above. I also take out rent insurance which has proved useful in the past.

Also, I would be very wary of tenants who have moved about a lot and maybe not stayed in one home for a decent length of time (in my opinion this could mean bad payers).

Finally, I would get a reference from the last but one landlord. The most recent landlord might be happy to say anything to get rid of a bad tenant!

Gut instinct always helps too!

islandgirl
23-05-2007, 19:42 PM
I always do a Tenantverify now (had fingers burnt in the past!) - easily done via this site - £30 or so for full check. Prospective tenant pays. In my experience the bad ones run a mile! You give them the form to fill in and mysteriously you never hear from them again - I wonder why?????