Have you decided to buy a property in Bath and let? Are you moving out of Bath and are looking for the right tenants for your previous home? One of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord is to find the right renters for your property, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that your house or flat stays in good hands.
Discrimination Is Against the Law
In the UK, it is against the law to discriminate against certain potential tenants based on their race or color, nationality, religion, sex, disability, or familial status (whether they have children). Although it is ultimately your right to choose who lives in your property, you must offer all applicants an equal chance.
It is essential that you remember this fact as you arrange property viewings. Otherwise, potential tenants might file a complaint against you, which will decrease your chances to let in the future, as well as your income from this source.
Conduct a Background Check
Gut feelings are important when interviewing different applicants, but before you sit down with someone, there are a couple of background checks you should run to ensure that they would be a good fit. To begin with, you might want to verify a tenant’s income and call their employer directly to make sure that the information is correct. Furthermore, you have the right to run a credit check on potential renters, although this might cost you an additional fee.
A criminal background check is also important if you want to rest assured that your property is in good hands. However, performing such a verification on all applicants can be very time-consuming, so you might want to opt for the help of a screening company instead.
Last, but not least, the tenant’s rental history is a valid point for you to bring up during an interview. Can they provide contact details for some of their previous landlords (at least two)? When you decide to get in touch with the latter, you might want to ask them if the candidate paid his rent on time, whether they were evicted or moved out, whether they kept the apartment clean, but also if they caused property damage or were disrespectful to neighbors. All of these details can help you make a better decision.
(Optional) Hite a Letting Agent
If you feel that you do not have enough time, resources, or experience to make this decision yourself, you can hire a letting agent to do it for you. Pritchards letting agents have worked in Bath for several decades and have an ample understanding of what makes a good tenant.
Naturally, the letting agent will charge a fee for this service, but there are situations where the additional investment makes sense, especially if you are not physically present in Bath at the time when you need to rent out a flat or house. If you do not opt for a “full management” service, the fee can be as low as a single month’s rent.