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How to Vet Tenants with Pre-Viewing Questions

Originally published at: https://blog.openrent.co.uk/how-to-vet-tenants-with-pre-viewing-questions/

Landlords want high-quality tenants at their viewings. That means tenants who have read the property description and understand the kind of tenancy that the landlord is looking for.  There’s nothing more frustrating than driving to a viewing just for the tenant to have misread the move-in date or the maximum number of occupants! Clearly, vetting…

I always advertise that an applcant must be in work. No matter how many questions you ask you will always get the chancers who when you ask where do you work ? they dont reply, so no viewing for them! On 4 properties with about 120 enquiries about 75% had ignored the fact I only want people in work

Hi Colin. Last advert we placed was the first time that we used Open Rent’s auto screening. We only got a third of the number of enquiries compared with previous times but the quality was so much better. The questions they ask put off most of the time wasters. They also ask how much the tenants’ nett monthly income is and we further reduced the number of wasted viewings because we ruled out tenant’s with income under 3 times the rent. The screening is free and I recommend it 100%

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I think it’s more important now to ask their financial circumstances now we cannot charge them for their credit referencing. I always state in the ad that they cannot have any adverse credit history. And I always ask if they have any CCJs etc. and state that if they do they won’t pass the credit check and no point applying. I don’t want to have to keep paying for unnecessary checks!! It’s amazing how some still ask questions like “I know it says no pets but…” or “I know it says no bad credit but would you still consider even though …” or “I know it says no house share but it’s only me and my five mates …” As per Colins comment we also state that applicants must be on 3x the annual rent and that really filters them out too. One tenant applied for one of ours stating that she earned £820 a month for a rental of £750 per month - clearly either wouldn’t be on her own or was in receipt of benefits! Do they really think landlords are that daft??

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We have been using the tenancy screening function for sometime now (with our own questions, something similar). If they do not reply, we assume that they are time wasters! There are lot of time wasters (including Agents! when we say in our advert, no agent, they still send messages, just can not get rid of them!).

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It stated “no pets” in my advert, the contract states “no pets” without consultation with me, yet the first thing that confronted me when I had to go in after a week, was a litter tray. When I queried it and the cat sitting there, it was laughingly brushed off by the tenant! What can I do rather than evict them?

I have used the Rent Now function before but never noticed the facility to ask prescreening questions. Where is it to be found please.

I bit my tongue and said nothing when I discovered a cat in situ 4 years ago. We have been very lucky as it has actually turned out to be a lovely cat which is well-behaved and clean - in fact you would not know it lived there aparrt from the food and water bowl.

IF they are good tenants who pay the rent on time, look a good long term tenant and the cat is not destroying the property, is it worth the hassle of getting them out and having a month or two with no rent coming in?

I do sympathise because it is very galling but sometimes it is better to be pragmatic and keep the cash coming in…

Mind you, having said that, I would religiously inspect every 3-4 months to ensure that they are not also doing other things which you said “No” too as well because once they have breached a term or condition, it just goes on getting easier to ignore the Contract xxx

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