by: Zoe Dare Hall
What’s your greatest fear in becoming a buy-to-let landlord? Last year, 59 per cent of landlords dealt with tenants not paying their rent, says Northwood, a guaranteed rent provider.
And 99,000 tenants haven’t paid rent for two months, according to LSL Property Services, the highest number since 2008.
What about having to evict a tenant? Numbers are up for that too, with 8 per cent more landlords starting eviction proceedings last year compared with 2011.Picking the right tenant can save a long, costly eviction process further down the line.
Be thorough in conducting background checks and reference-gathering, including bank statements for the past three months, previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time and credit checks incorporating fraud indicators and employer references.
Check identity and proof of current address – ideally tax or insurance documents – and talk at length to a prospective tenant. Patsy Day, owner of lettings agency Belvoir Bury St Edmunds, says she asks “lots of questions about their reason for moving. We spend time with them during the application process. Our motive is to strike a good relationship with them from the beginning.
This article was written by Zoe Dare Hall and originally published on telegraph