Asking for proof of earnings before viewing

We’ve just started advertising our first property and having gathered info (mostly from this forum), have been sending out application forms requesting personal details and proof of income (bank statements) before arranging viewings. We’ve had zero response to this request. Are we going about this the wrong way or is it normal to get a lot of time-wasters? Are we putting people off (who would be good tenants) by asking for bank statements before setting up a viewing? It’s only been 10 days on the market but from the number of enquiries, thought we’d have at least one to respond to the form!

It is normal to get a lot of time wasters. around 75%… I would ask for proof of income if they say they are interrested in renting and have viewed… Ask other questions before viewing

Thanks Colin. So just ask the question before viewing and proof afterwards?

Sonia2 I first ask them are they in work? How old are you? Is this for yourself only? Are you ok for me to do a reference check? Do you have pets? Do you smoke? Do you have children? Do you get goverment assistance with housing? Where do you live now? who is your Landlord? How much do you earn? If they dont answer ALL the question to my satisfaction I reply thru Openrent “sorry I cannot help you” And press the reject button . No viewing for them

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Advertising since 1st January, only 3 people out of 15 enquiries have replied to our request for this basic information. And one clearly could not afford to live in the property. I’m starting to feel quite despondent now, property has been refurbished (redecorated, new carpets) rent is average (we have even tried reducing it) we will consider pets. Where are all these desperate renters?

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I feel your pain! We are in a very similar position and refuse to use an agency to find a tenant! Good luck

keep going you will regret if you get a lousy tenant

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Are you based in London?

Just outside. Flat to rent is in High Wycombe

Yes. SE20 8AT

Thanks

Your brother

V

Ideally the the annual tenant income should be more than 36 times the monthly rental to be on a safer side !

So only ask financial income and job related questions, to further decide for viewing.

Once someone has viewed your property after qualifying your criteria of secure job & income you go the next round of asking proofs of income like P60, payslip, Tax returns & bank statements.

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Hi Sonia,

Ive rented a lot of houses out and my opinion is your doing it wrong. First step is getting them round, once they are interested they will jump every hurdle to get the room, send proof of income etc. But nobody wants to waste their time going through all that reference checks when they don’t even know if they will like the room! Just ask for proof after viewing and see this before signing any contracts. Simple

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I would tell prospective tenants that following a viewing if they are interested you will need to see proof of income from bank statements before you will accept a reservation.

This at least would hopefully weed out those who know they won’t be able to provide the proof before you waste money on referencing, and potentially cut the number of “pointless” viewings.

I also put in my ad the minimum income required by the referencing agent (in my case its £25,500) and make it clear that less than that, bad credit or any CCJ will mean they will not pass the referencing so that people have an idea if they can afford it and if they are likely to pass the referencing.

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You will get a lot of viewings and no proof arriving thus as a landlord you will waste 75% of your time (30 years a landlord) Questions first viewings after!

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When our property went on Open Rent we had over 30 enquiries. We asked what they earn, and other questions, before viewing and for proof of earnings if someone wanted to move forward with renting. Most didnt. One interested party lost their deposit by failing to respond with references. Another wanted to run a business in our residential rental property, we refused. We didnt think the neighbours would take kindly to it. As we live near an airport we also had lots of people newly arrived in the UK come to view. It was then they divulged that they had no bank account in the UK, no history in the UK and wanted us to forego credit checks and referencing, we politely declined. If ever we need to find new tenants we’re not sure what questions we can legitimately ask that would eliminate them before they waste our time with a viewing.

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how old are you? Is it for yourself only? Do you smoke? Do you have a Car? Do you have children? Are you in work? Where do you work? Where do you live now? Who is your Landlord? Do you have any CCJ s? Can I do a credit check on you? How much do you earn?.. ask away, its your place DONT ask if they are black or white, sexual leanings etc

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I ask if they would like me to email them a Viewing Application Form. This gives me all the details as stated in the thread before the viewing takes place to save time wasting.
Frustrating that most do not fill in the form even though they have requested the form. Some say why do I need to complete the form. I say you may not be working, you may not want to move for another 3 months, you may have 5 dogs, guarantor, etc etc…
There are numerous landlords not checking out who their tenants are, or what income they earn etc. They are the ones complaining of not receiving rent and unable to evict.
Keep your resolve, act responsibly and wait for the right applicant. (40 year landlord)

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I generally have a chat on the telephone before a viewing particularly on their status. Thereafter, and when we have met the potential tenants and found out more about them ( and of course they are considered to be a potential tenant ) I then following through bank statements/ employers references/ past Landlord reference etc. It saves so much time to do it that way. I always point out to the potential tenants what I will be doing should they want to proceed so every one is in the loop of things …

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I agree Colin, you can be tactful and diplomatic with this …

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I email them back on Rent now and ask the important questions. Current occupation and current salary, where do you work, who will be occupying the property, any CCJs criminal convictions, IVA’s or bankruptcy, Pets or Smokers (I do rent to pet owners). Do you currently rent and if so where, what are your reason for leaving. Do all of the applicants agree to be credit checked and referenced.
I then select which ones to view. After viewing I choose a tenant being upfront with all those that view and letting them know how many other people want the property and when I will let them know if they are successful or not. I then thoroughly vet the successful applicants.
This has worked for me for 4 tenancies. I do wonder if being asked for proof of earning before viewing is putting prospective tenants off, I think it would me if I were a tenant.
Best of luck and I hope you get good tenants soon.

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