How do you reduce the risk of problem tenants?

If you’re a landlord, then it’s fully understandable that you’ll want the best possible tenants for your property.

In order to find the best tenants, there are a number of pre-emptive steps that you can take before they move in, as well as decisions you can make during the tenancy to ensure all is running smoothly and any issues are stopped at source.

Here’s an outline of these steps and how they can help you reduce the risk of problem tenants.

Tenant referencing

Tenant referencing gives you a keen insight into tenants who are interested in your property and whether they have the ability to pay the rent.

It can tell you more about their credit history, their background and their employment status.

In doing so, tenant referencing allows you to assess the suitability of your potential tenants and have background checks carried out by experts.

In our opinion, tenant referencing is a vital process when you’re looking to let out your investment property.

With tenant referencing, you get to know more about who’s moving into your property, allowing you to make an informed decision about the tenants you choose.

With fast and thorough checks, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re accepting the most suitable tenants for your property. Buy to let properties are big investments – so you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.

A written tenancy agreement

By putting your tenancy agreement in writing, you’ll have a clear and up-to-date record of the tenancy and its guidelines.

A formal contract between you and your tenants, a tenancy agreement sets out the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy. It can either be for a fixed-term or a periodic tenancy.

This will clearly show the rights and responsibilities for both you and your tenants, clearly displaying who’s responsible for what around the property.

A tenancy agreement should include (as a minimum):

  • The names of those involved
  • The price of rent and how payment should be submitted
  • How and when the rent will be reviewed
  • The full deposit amount and how it’ll be protected
  • Under what circumstances part or all of the deposit can be withheld
  • The start and end dates of the tenancy
  • Conditions around subletting
  • The full responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord

By completing a written, signed and dated tenancy agreement, you’ll legally protect yourself and your property.

As well as this, your tenants will be in no doubt about their responsibilities while they live in the property, therefore reducing the likelihood of you experiencing any problems.

Carry out regular inspections

By carrying out regular inspections, as you’re legally entitled to (if you give your tenants plenty of notice), you’ll be able to stop any problems before they become serious.

For example, if you inspect quarterly, it’ll be unlikely that condensation will develop into mould before you can deal with it, as a simple reminder to your tenants to open the bathroom window for a short period of time each day could be enough to save you both time and money later on.

Additionally, inspections are a great way of discovering whether the tenants are treating your properly well, and they’re also a great way of building a rapport with the tenants themselves.

Keeping in touch

By keeping in touch with your tenants regularly, you stand a much greater chance of the tenancy being a success and your tenants being respectful of both you and your property.

Building a good relationship with your tenants is important, as it means that they’ll be much more likely to contact you if any issues arise during the tenancy.

This way, you can get them repaired quickly, before the problem worsens.

Staying in touch doesn’t require detailed phone conversation on a daily or weekly business, but a quick text message every month or so, just to check in, never goes amiss.

Having the right insurance

Finally, in case the worst case scenario does happen, you must ensure that you have the right insurance in place. This way, if anything goes wrong, or if you or your tenants encounter problems, you’re fully covered.

Our Landlord Insurance is designed specifically for the unique needs of landlords and the potential risks you face. It can help you with the costs for damage to your property, or its contents, caused by tenants.

You can even use our comparison tool to see how our 5* Defaqto rated cover compares to other policies.

By following these simple steps, you’ll reduce the risk of problem tenants in your property.

By doing the right preparation through tenant referencing and ensuring a tenancy agreement is signed, you’ll ensure you’re attracting the right tenants.

By inspecting regularly and keeping in touch, you’ll be able to prevent any problems arising and will build a rapport with your tenants.

Finally, by ensuring you have the right insurance for your property, you’ll be covered, even if the worst should happen.