July 27, 2023 12:45 pm

Never before has it been so vital for landlords to thoroughly check their tenants to ensure that they are an ideal fit for their rental property

As a landlord in Somerset, it is essential to have a thorough tenant screening process in place to ensure that you find the right tenants for your property, especially with the changes in legislation with the renter's reform bill and the issues that landlords now face in evicting the wrong tenants.

Having a thorough process for searching and finding the perfect tenants in Somerset can be an easy one when you have a great system in place, saving you both time, money and hassle later down the line, helping you to find great tenants who are the right fit for your property.

Here at Somerset Lettings, we have a great system in place for finding great tenants, especially in today's rental climate, with a shortage of rental properties, there are always a huge number of applicants that apply for properties, I kid you not! A few years ago we were looking at 10-15 applicants for a property, and now we get 60+! So that you will understand why it is vital to have great steps in place.

Do you have a pre-application process to capture leads?

First of all, have a pre-application form ready for your potential tenant leads that come in, this will help you pick and choose who fits the criteria from the offset before so that when you get on the phone to arrange viewings, you know that they have all of the pre-qualifying bits and pieces such as affordability, guarantors, work etc.

Not only does this help whittle down the time spent choosing the right potential tenants to come and view the property, but means that your time spent on viewings is with the right kind of potential tenants who on paper will be a good fit, especially if they are to be assessed for rent guarantee insurance.

Found your ideal tenant?

Again, manually checking potential tenants can be a time-consuming task, which is why we work with a company called Vouch, not only do they complete all of the tenant's checks and verifications, they work hand in hand with Goodlord who supplies the rent guarantee insurance, if tenants do not pass all of the checks, they will not qualify for the rent guarantee insurance.

The tenant screening process involves reviewing a tenant's rental history, credit score, income, employment, and criminal background.

5 reasons why tenant screening is crucial:
  1. 1
    Protect Your Property: Thorough tenant screening can help you identify potential red flags and prevent costly damage to your property. Tenants with a history of damaging rental units or who have a criminal history of property damage are more likely to cause damage to your property, leading to costly repairs and replacement costs.
  2. 2
    Minimize Risk of Rent Default: Tenant screening also helps landlords reduce the risk of rent default. By checking a tenant's credit score and employment history, you can ensure that they have a reliable source of income and can afford the rent. This can help avoid the headache of evictions or the financial loss of unpaid rent.
  3. 3
    Improve Tenant Retention: Screening tenants thoroughly also helps improve tenant retention. Tenants who pass screening checks and who feel that they are renting from a responsible landlord are more likely to renew their lease and maintain a good relationship with the landlord.
  4. 4
    Avoid Legal Hassles: By performing thorough tenant screening, you can avoid legal hassles such as discrimination lawsuits. Screening all potential tenants based on the same criteria ensures that no tenant is discriminated against and that you remain compliant with fair housing laws.
  5. 5
    Protect Other Tenants: Tenant screening helps protect other tenants in your rental property. By screening potential tenants for criminal history, you can ensure that they are not a threat to other tenants' safety and well-being.

Never more has it been so vital to ensure that your tenant checking processes be thorough, something that we wish we had as landlords known about years ago, however, the systems and processes that we have in place ensure that even before we start the viewing process, we know the types of tenants and their situations before they go onto our thorough testings to meet the high standards of our rent guarantee insurance, which is must for every landlord to have in place right now.

In conclusion, thorough tenant screening is essential for landlords. It can help protect your property, minimize the risk of rent default, improve tenant retention, avoid legal hassles, and protect other tenants. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are trustworthy, reliable, and safe. A comprehensive tenant screening process is an effective way to achieve this goal.

To find out more about letting with us or how we do it, simply give us a call, we would love to chat with you.

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