The importance of tenant screening for landlords

Submitted by Aisling Keenan on Mon, 09/08/2008 - 07:57.

A good tenant is an asset

A bad tenant is a liability

 

For landlords looking to get a tenant for their property it is of paramount importance that they adequately screen prospective tenants in advance. Screening of tenants can include collecting, coalating and evaluating information on the prospective tenant in order to reach an informed conclusion on their eligibility to rent the property. Its recommended to dig deeply into how the tenant will treat your valued property.

If a landlord rents his/her property to a low calibre tenant it may prove costly. They risk slow or non payment of rent, disregard for property causing damage such as broken windows, poor housekeeping skills, parties and having many friends or family staying over on a continuous basis increases wear and tear of the property. After a very short while the property may need to be refurbished and have expensive repairs carried out in preparation for a new tenant.  It  can be difficult and very time consuming to go through the process of evicting a tenant even in circumstances where the tenant is in the wrong.

In a recent case, a family renting a three bedroomed house in a small housing estate had caused serious problems for the owner of the property. There were, continuous  alcohol fueled parties in the house causing damage such as broken windows and doors, a constant stream of complaints to the owner of the property from other residents in the estate about the anti-social antics of these tenants. These tenants placed a large skip on the common green area of the development to dispose of their domestic waste. After a long and expensive court battle, the cost of this clean-up was borne by the management company at the time and later was billed to the owner of the property. Regular visits from the Gardai to the estate left the estate with a less than desirable reputation.

It is important to note that most of the time a landlord will find it difficult to verify past records including criminal reports of a prospective tenant. Reylying on the assurances of friends, past tenants and so on may backfire as past experiences has proved time and time again that verbal assurances are not worth the paper they are written on.

It is recommended that landlords engage the services of the professionals in this area to handle lettings. A reputable and proven firm of letting agents will have exact policies and proceedures and the expertise to cover most or all eventualities and they will take responsibility for any tenant they place. 

With the right tenant in place renting out your property can be profitable.

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