If you are a private landlord and (for whatever your reason) prefer to carry out your own property management, you are walking a tight-rope – without a pole! The real rogues (rejected by all estate agents due to default databases) are lurking beneath the surface. They lay in wait of your online advert. My advice for such landlords is not to grab a deposit until the homework is done and dusted.
Hand the prospective tenant an Application To Rent form. We have them for you for free if you are lacking a good one. It is imperative the prospective tenant completes this form. And be mindful of the gaps left in it. Make sure you re-ask those questions left blank.
Do not, under any circumstances, proceed with a Tenancy Agreement with any party until you have thoroughly checked the info provided. Ring up the previous landlord/agent and get the truth. Make a call to the employer and verify that the person is actually employed there.
Google the person’s name and State. That will generally shortlist things somewhat. We have many recidivist rogue tenants listed on our Absconded list. Each one in-turn will appear on a Google search. Don’t accept any deposit until you are sure. Always ask to see their drivers licence. If you haven’t got a photocopier handy then write out the name in full as it appears on the licence. You also need to record the number, date of birth, and make note of the address on the back as well.
Remember! Their last chance to rent is possibly with you – the unsuspecting landlord, slack on paperwork and happy to hear a sob story. The rogue tenants lay in wait as the estate agents, these days, are several steps ahead of them with a national default database.
Richard Adams REA407, DCL5286