Landlords: Vetting your tenants amidst new rules
As a landlord, your property is one of your greatest asset and your tenants are temporary custodians of this asset. It’s important that you have peace of mind with the confidence that your tenants looking after your property as well as you would.
Recent changes in the buy-to-let (BTL) landscape are making tenant referencing even more important than in the past. New right-to-rent rules are one of the most significant. Under the legislation, you—as the landlord—need to have seen your tenant’s actual passport and permanent residency and right to stay documents before handing over the keys. The UK government site has guidance on the following aspects of right-to-rent rules.
Use expert agencies
It has become essential to use third party tenant referencing agencies either yourself or via your letting agent. This is especially important in this time of increasing fraud which can mask illegal residents, criminals, and tenants with poor records.
Fake documents, such as bank statements, utility bills, and employment history are easily available online so it is wise for you to discuss your service agreement with the letting agency or directly with the referencing agency to confirm that they will provide verification of identity, credit history, mortgage statements, a Cifas fraud prevention check, county court judgments, employment references, and a renting track record—important verification that a prospective tenant is worthy of the value of the asset being placed in their care.
It is important to make sure agencies are complying with their tenant referencing obligations and agree to bill you only when your tenant’s first payment of rent has been made, not before.
If you wish to make an agreement with a potential tenant who checks all the boxes but has an insufficient credit history, consider having a guarantor in place to cover in the event of default.
Some letting agencies provide insurance for protection against rent arrears and also to cover costs of an eviction for references they have passed. Rent guarantee insurance is approximately £100 per year and is tax deductible.
The case for caution
While vetting tenants may seem an intensive and overly-complex aspect of the landlord’s burden, the cost and aggravation—should things go wrong—can be devastating. Talk to your letting agent or referencing agency to ensure your protection is iron clad.
To ensure your further peace of mind, Besmove has the property management experience and resources to deliver the greatest possible return on your rental properties with the following promises:
- We know London’s BTL territory
- Our services can be deducted from your tax bill
- We track your receipts and expenses so you don’t have to
- We offer up-to-date information on the BTL marketplace
- We stage and market your property for maximum return
- We contract only with experienced and trusted tradespeople
Call the property management specialists at Besmove today to learn how you can survive AND PROSPER in today’s property marketplace.
For more information on the topic you can check out the reference articles;