It shouldn’t be that hard for any genuine tenant to follow due process:
1 If they want the property the holding deposit lasts one week
2 They receive the AST 5 days in advance at the start or during the holding period and ending at the end of the holding period. This means they receive, read and return the signed AST within the week of the holding period.
3 They pay all due monies
4 If the property is empty they receive the Inventory. If tenancies are more or less an out/in with time for inventory , they receive it on moving in.
5 You only hand over keys which have been agreed
6 I normally set the scene by adding a welcome letter inside and a bottle of wine.
7 It is reiterated they call you for anything property concerns (or your agent) and inspections will be quarterly in the first year. (you may decide 6 monthly) but as I do not know the tenant, this tends to ensure we all take the same road to a successful tenancy. After the first year you make your decisions on the periodicity of the inspections, but do at least one.
8 I have my independent website with individual property / tenant access where all documentation and links to appropriate websites is kept should they be unable to find the paper copies provided. They sign on the AST to acknowledge this which helps us all and ensures there can be no question of any documentation provided or where to look for many things appropriate to the property.
With a tenancy it’s a two way contract, looking after the tenant provides better relationships and longevity of tenancies, hence less voids.