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An Ideal Tenant? How a “medical professional” turned out to be a heroin addict!

March 24, 2010

So your property’s up for rent and you need a tenant to pay the mortgage before the next bill is due. You’ve found who you think to be an ideal tenant – suited and booted and suitable employed.

You could really do with the tenant moving in, unpacking and just starting to pay the bills – but first make sure you check your tenant out. It does not matter how nice they seem, what “references” they bring with them – every detail needs to be double checked and verified.

There are several ways you can go about this. Firstly, you can get an outside company to do a credit check. That’s fine but you need to remember that is all it is – a credit check. This check will purely tell you about the tenant’s financial history and where they are registered to vote. More importantly, what you need to do (or if you are using an agent make sure they do) is see the tenant’s photo ID, then you need to see real utility bills in their name at the registered address, you need to see their last 3 months bank statements, their payslips and you need to get the name, address and contact details of their previous landlord and employer. And most importantly – you need to check that information.

Think about it – anybody can dress up smart, say everything you want to hear and write down any amount of information on an application form. You need to “play detective” and check out the story. You need to contact the employer and check they work there, their salary, and if that may change in the near future. You need to call the previous landlord and find out if they are/ have ever been in arrears and how they looked after the property.  You may feel silly for “not believing” the tenant – that’s fine – 9 times out of 10 people are telling the truth. But, get the one who isn’t and trust me you will be in for an expensive ride

We recently had a landlord come to us who had taken on a tenant – but who he had to ask to leave after a month…why?

She claimed to be a medical professional who was suited and booted and talked the talk. BUT…turned out she was a heroin addict and a patient at the hospital she claimed to be a professional at!

This landlord had a lucky escape as the tenant left when he found out (he had popped round with a welcome gift and found people taking drugs and needles everywhere).

Have you had any lucky escapes or tenant stories you want to share – please comment below! – Bringing people & property together

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 6:44 pm

    please can i go on your mail shot list

  2. March 26, 2010 10:30 am

    There is a great opportunity for London Landlords to avoid problem tenants by letting their properties as short term or holiday lets. There is a real shortage of holiday let property in London and good income to be earned. You avoid problem tenants by lettign under terms and conditions rather than a lease, so the people staying do not have tenant’s rights. For more information see Landlord Information

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