Question: Tenant Blacklists. I’ve had a very bad experience with a tenant and would like to put him on a black list so that other landlords don’t have the same experience that I’ve had. How do I go about this?
Answer: We often get asked this question.
Although there have been several attempts by different organisations in the UK to build data bases which hold delinquent tenant information, to our knowledge none of these have been entirely satisfactory or successful. There are several reasons for this:
There’s always two sides to every story (dispute) and peoples’ emotions get involved, which blows things up, sometimes out of proportion.
The only sure way a tenant can legally be added to such a list is if they have been challenged in court and found guilty, so to speak. Otherwise its one word against another.
As it is, very few tenant disputes actually come to court or go through a full dispute resolution process.
Discrimination, Human Rights and Data Protection laws have a bearing here, so these actions – listing a person or persons on a black list – could have legal repercussions.
In any event, even if you were to put delinquent tenants (or even delinquent landlords) on such a list, how long should they stay there? Who decides who goes on and who comes off and when?
The process is fought with legal difficulties.
Our advice would be to thoroughly vet your new tenants each time you re-let by having credit checks and referencing carried out and doing identity checks as well.
If you do a thorough job of verifying potential tenants you should eliminate 99% of rouge tenants.
If there are any doubts, don’t enter into an agreement, take rent up-front or take a guarantor.
Always do credit checks, referencing and identity checks.
Use a quality Verifying service such as www.TenantVERIFY.co.uk
By Tom Entwistle,
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©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these general guidelines which apply primarily to England and Wales. They are not definitive statements of the law. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of your case and all documents to hand.