Step 1: Affordability test
The first step to screening prospective tenants is to conduct an affordability test. This test will help you to determine the amount someone needs to earn to be able to afford the property. You should consider the following in the affordability test: the rent, utility bills, broadband, TV license and general living expenses.
Step 2: State your tenancy requirements
As a property owner, you should state clearly what type of tenant you are looking for. For example, you may be looking for tenants who are employed in a stable job, who can provide their rental history and who do not have pets. You should ask yourself whether you are open to social housing tenants, couples, and families. More requirements means that you may not get as many prospective tenants, but it could give you more peace of mind. Once you have a clear idea of what kind of tenant you are looking for, you should mention it within your marketing materials to filter out the tenants.
Step 3: Send the rental applications
Once some tenants express interest in your properties, you should send them a rental application to complete. The form should include: the basic tenancy details (e.g., the number of people and start date of the tenancy, tenants’ personal details), current landlord, referee, employment details and any other additional information (e.g., whether they will have pets).
Step 4: Carry out viewings with applicants
The next step is to carry out viewing with the appropriate applicants after they have completed the rental application form. This will give you an opportunity to meet the applicant in person and ask them questions.
Step 5: Referencing & Credit checks
The final step to screening prospective tenants is to conduct reference and credit checks. To do this, you need to contact previous landlords to obtain the references, contact employers for references, request recent payslips as proof of income and bank statements. You should also request their passport and other forms of identity.
The information in this post is valid to the best of our knowledge on the date of posting. It is advised that you seek independent advice based on your individual circumstances.
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