You need to be very careful because by law people need “Right To Rent”. Many people from abroad won’t have that. &it’s actually illegal to rent to people who don’t pass.
I have a very serious list of questions. I give them the formula that they have to do in order to find out if they can actually afford the rent.
I let them know upfront that I won’t engage any further if it’s clear they won’t pass credit checks.
I then ask for proof of income & their ID prior to going through credit checks. As I’m a member of the ICO I pass on my certification which proves that I can hold data.
I’ve had to be so strict because people are so desperate & will do anything to get accommodation. It is a very scary situation for people renting I understand. But I also need to protect myself.
The other night I was out with a really good friend and his son actually told me that his girlfriend forged their bank statements in order to get a flat. He thought he could tell me that because his dad was a good friend. He claimed they had the money to pay the rent & they would never not pay it but they just weren’t passing the credit checks. They were going through an estate agent & it got passed with forged documents! this is a really really nice guy, he was just desperate to get a flat.
I check absolutely everything that Rentguard does. I asked them to send me copies of everything & I go through them all & if I need anything else I ask them to request it & if they refuse I’ll request it myself.
I had a tenant who completely lied about his income to Rentguard & Rentguard didn’t question it one single bit. Even when I pressure them. This was a guy who claimed he had his own business, which he did, along with his mate he claimed that he earns £25,000 “full time employed” “salary” a year. When I went on companies House, I could see that there was one payment of £25,000 into the account which was some kind of start-up loan. And there was no evidence of this guy ever getting paid a salary. But Rentguard claimed that they looked at his last three months & he had had large payments paid to him. I Asked them where these payments came from and they couldn’t answer me. I told them that money could come from anywhere that it could be his mother sending & payments for all I know. People are really savvy. Rentguard is totally useless & you must check everything. Igot rid of him within eight months because he was such a liar & such a very difficult person. He left without paying his final months rent.To date I check his income With his company & There is next to nothing going in. he claims he is a marine biologist which is another lie, & he has no income hardly at all. He’s one of those big talkers, completely full of himself. He used the last month rent to put a deposit down on a property that He bought along w a Covid business loan. How on earth he & his girlfriend afforded it I have no idea. I’m pretty certain that it’s a buy to let & they’re just living in it. now all of his unpaid loan statements still come to the flat & he has refused despite my many attempts to get him to change his address. I’m pretty sure there was a Bailiff letter recently. Sorry for the rant on that but Point is that we have to be extremely extremely extremely careful about our vetting of tenants. My gut instinct when I was going through the process w this tenant was that it was not a good idea, but Rentguard passed it & I had insurance, so I just went w it because I was under a lot of pressure. I never ever should I do my gut feeling was right. Huge mistake.
People lie a lot when applying for a flat rent. I’m really lucky at the moment I have really lovely tenants.
I want to get out of this whole business. I think I’m going to sell everything, I only have a few flats. But it’s really been scary the last three years. I’ve had tenants try every trick in the book, people I thought were really nice and honest during Covid became unbelievably ruthless. These are people that did not come from a background where they had no money and they had a guarantor & went to schools like Eton!! They earned eight times what I earn I’m asking for a third of the rent for no reason at all.
I’d say make a very clear list of what you want. It’s so tricky because I don’t allow animals because of the disrepair it’s caused in the past & My contract with the freeholder doesn’t allow pets anyway, and my flats are really really done up to a very high standard. I do ask if they’ve got a pet.