Advice on tenants

What questions should I ask a potential tenant. Should I ask if they would pass a credit check? I usually put my property with an agent so I don’t get involved but wanted to avoid paying the high fees again.
I’ve advised before a viewing that credit checks will be done and it seems to have scared off someone who was very interested so maybe I had a lucky escape?

Do you normally use the agent only for tenant find or for full management? If its the latter, then I wouldn’t recommend you take it on yourself until you’ve joined something like the NRLA and done their foundation training course. Its very dangerous for an inexperienced landlord.


I always ask would they pass a credit check in my prescribing questions before I allow a viewing. Those that are open and honest, if they can provide a home owning guarantor I might then consider. Those that think they can conceal bad credit and cost me money and wasted time get rejected immediately. If they disappear after you ask the question then you have your answer

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We have managed ourselves for 11 years with all tenants having been found through agents first we don’t accept dss either to minimise risk

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In that case, I agree that you should take over the tenant finding, which is the most important part of landlording and not something I would ever trust to an agent. The questions I ask are:

  • who would be living there
  • where are they living at the moment/have they ever paid rent
  • why are they moving
  • what are their jobs and how long have they worked there
  • do they currently have a right to rent in the UK
  • what is their monthly income
  • do they have any concerns about the tenant referencing process
  • do they have any CCJs, IVAs or ever been made bankrupt
  • do they smoke
  • do they have any pets
  • anything else they think I should know

I usually ask some over the phone and some at interview. I also ask them to complete an application form before I do the referencing.


Hi David
Thanks for your advice. If I instruct open rent to do the tenant checks paying £20 will they ask all the above on my behalf. I expected this to be like an agent only doing my own photos and viewings

ask the questions yourself

Is this for yourself only? Where do you work? Do you have children? Do you have pets? Do you have a car? Do you smoke? Do you have any CCJ S?. Where do you live now? Is it a rented property? Why are you moving? Will you need a guarrantor? How much do you earn? Can you prove this ? Would you object to a credit check? Can I have your nat ins number? Can I see some ID?


If you have a decent, well priced property you will likely get quite a lot of replies. You don’t want to reference them all so you will need to use these questions to whittle it down to one tenant who you then ask to complete and application form and you put forward for referencing.

I find Openrent perfect for my needs. I have on my info that passing a full reference must be passed and ccjs are an automatic fail.