If you own a ‘buy to let’ property or are renting out your own property, you will want to protect your investment and rent it out to the right people.
While there are never any guarantees, there are things you can do to ensure you do business with the right people, protecting both your property and your income.
All landlords need to understand that they must comply with the law when renting out a property. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of age, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. If you are unsure of the guidelines, you can read more on the official gov.uk websites.
Right to rent
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that any tenant is legally allowed to live in the UK. All tenants will need to provide identification documentation, and it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure they keep a copy of these; otherwise, they could incur a fine.
The right tenant
Depending on the type of property you are renting, you should decide whether it is more suitable for families, students, professionals or those who are retired. Always ask for evidence to check the tenant has regular income and can meet the payments.
Always ask for references from employers and previous landlords. If the tenants are students, ask for an academic reference, plus a guarantor.
Always compile an inventory, even if the property is unfurnished. The carpets, flooring, white goods and electrics all belong to the property owner. Using a property inspection app from companies such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can make this easy to do and efficient.
Ensure you ask for a deposit. This can be used against any damage or if a rent payment is missed. It is against the law to evict tenants during the coronavirus crisis.
Most insurance companies will require a background check on any new tenants for the insurance policy to be valid, so background checks are vital. Ask for copies of bank statements and run a credit appraisal. You could also check social media to confirm they are genuine if you have any real concerns.
Meet your tenants
Even if you are using a management company, it is always a good idea to meet your tenants in person.