Landlords - Checking tenants

(12 Posts)
user1473184683 Fri 16-Sep-16 15:45:08

Can any private landlords recommend a good way to check tenants before a tenancy? Which companies do your recommend online? Thanks. I am new to this and it didn't work out so great the first time !

EssentialHummus Fri 16-Sep-16 15:58:43

I'd check for CCJs Link

Ask for three months' bank statements (showing rent being paid, money coming in, if they're on the dole and you've specified no HB, any debts being repaid, heavy spending on gambling).

Ask for a reference from their employer/s

Ask to speak with the last two landlords, and get the addresses of those properties, and check Land Reg. to see that the landlord does own that property (i.e. that they haven't just given you their mate's number).

user1473184683 Fri 16-Sep-16 16:16:46

Wow, that's great. I see how thorough I should be now blush. I expect you find people are happy to show you bank statements if they want the house?

EssentialHummus Fri 16-Sep-16 16:27:31

Yes - you're not going to get a bad tenant for being too cautious/thorough, whereas - from painful experience - the opposite is often true.

I just set out in writing what I need from them. I appreciate that bank statements are a personal thing, but if a prospective tenant is unwilling to share them without a very good reason it raises my suspicions.

I'm a tenant and have just been through the most time consuming rigorous checking for my new property. Hers what I was asked for -
Credit check
Employee references
3 months wage slips
Previous landlord references
3 months bank statements
Passports

The only one I questioned and was wary about was the bank statements as while I get that you want to check income and outgoings, gambling sites, large overdraft etc. it felt extremely intrusive. Frankly, it's very personal and I wanted absolute assurance that the landlord understood the requirements of the data protection act. and I knew how my details would be used and stored before I was happy to hand over. That amount of personal detail in the wrong hands could cause a lot of grief. The agency were able to reassure me and we're happy for me to black out transactions I didn't wan them to see as long as rent, wages, utilities and balance were visible. It felt like a reasonable compromise.

Needmoresleep Fri 16-Sep-16 16:49:04

Hummus' list sounds good, except that you MUST now see (and take a copy of) someone's passport or proof they have a right to live in the UK.

purplemunkey Fri 16-Sep-16 16:56:52

I've been renting for over a decade and have never been asked for a bank statement over the four properties I've lived in. I'd definitely raise an eyebrow over that! I've had credit checks, I think proof of employment check & previous landlord reference. Why would you need to see all my in and outgoings? Surely you just need proof that I earn what I say I do and have a good payment history e.g. my credit check and previous landlord. Three months of bank statements would be too instrusive for my liking.

purple that's exactly how I felt but I'd fallen in love with the house. We ended up with pages of statements with everything except wages, rent and utilities blacked out. So nothing references and a credit check wouldn't acheive.

user1473184683 Fri 16-Sep-16 18:02:44

Thanks everyone. That could be a compromise with the statements although I suppose sites such as gambling ones could be crossed out but given all the other checks , it could be a workable compromise.

purplemunkey Fri 16-Sep-16 18:04:44

Yes, I can see how that's a decent enough compromise if you really wanted the house. As you say though, bit pointless if you're already subject to a credit check!

The thing is, as long as everything's consistently paid over 3 years it doesn't really matter what else the person spends their money on does it? If somewhere just withdraws cash you wouldn't have a clue what they spent on anyway so no dodgy transactions doesn't really prove anything.

SlinkiMalinki55 Sun 18-Sep-16 14:20:26

I recommend you have a look at the national landlords association-landlords.org.uk - and the gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/landlord-responsibilities. There's quite a lot to know and you don't sound very confident, it's not worth getting it wrong. Also, having been a landlord for over 20 years, the other thing I would suggest is use your gut feeling about prospective tenants, if you like someone, perhaps just give them the opportunity of a home. (Legally, of course.)

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