Seven tips on spotting a troublesome tenant

Every landlord gets lumbered with a troublesome tenant at some point, but is there a magic formula to cut the risk?

Most landlords will tell of horror stories involving expensive damage to their properties, sub-letting, benefit fraud and even their homes trading as brothels.

This is a simple checklist for landlords on how to spot potential trouble-making tenants:

  • Research! Before a tenant steps into a property, take up references. Always ask the previous landlord for their views and carry out credit checks. Do not accept a mobile phone bill as proof of address.
  • Regular visits: Stop small issues becoming major problems by arranging regular visits. Schedule the first one a month after the tenant moves in and another for three months. Regular six monthly inspections should be OK after that.
  • Show them how: Show tenants how to use equipment in the property, like boilers, the heating system and showers. This is not a formal visit and will help build up a relationship.
  • Inventory: Go through the list of what the property contains and remove anything the tenant doesn’t want to avoid damage
  • Safety checks: A landlord is required by law to have valid gas and electrical safety certificates
  • Refused entry? This can be a tricky legal minefield so beware. The tenant has a right of quiet enjoyment , which means you should only visit by appointment. If entry is refused several times, talk to a lawyer.
  • Be aware: Don’t let the tenancy run on without any involvement or it’s bound to end in tears.

Regular communication between landlord and tenant is key to avoiding many problems, but following these seven tips will help iron out any wrinkles in your relationship.



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