Tenant Checks: What Are Landlords Looking For?

Paying your rent on time, treating the property with respect, obeying the tenancy agreement…Things you would probably do instinctively, because you’re such fabulous people anyway, but worth mentioning just so you can tick things off the list and know that you are doing all you can to please your landlord.

However, as we all know, positive behaviour should never just begin on the day you move into a property. If you want to get in at all, you’re going to have to impress.

In order to be confident that you are going to be a good tenant, there are a number of checks that are done to be sure that you are reliable and a decent prospect.

What kind of checks?

Well, that’s why we’re here, dear reader.

Here are 5 things that landlords are looking for when picking out a prospective tenant.

Right To Rent: Any landlord or agent is obligated by law to confirm that you have the right to rent in this country. This means simply checking your immigration status to confirm that you have permission to be in the UK. A passport is the best way to give the okay, but a birth certificate or driving licence would be the next best thing. It is against the law to discriminate just because someone is not originally from this country, but relevant documents are required to confirm your status.

Credit Checks: It’s good to know that the people you have moving into your property can pay their bills. And so, on occasion, letting agents and/or landlords may do a credit check on you to see if you’ve had any problems paying bills in the past. If you happen to have a poor credit history, just be open and honest about it from the start. If you explain why you think this is the case, they may still rent the property out to you with a larger deposit or guarantor.

Income: Can you actually afford to pay the rent, plus bills and everything else that comes with living? We know you said you did, but can you prove it? Most landlords like you to spend no more than 40% of your income on rent. Why? Because there’s council tax to pay. Power bills. Wi-fi. Food. A landlord will want evidence (usually 3 months’ worth of pay slips) that you are not going to struggle and put their rent charges in jeopardy. Get your calculator out and do some sums. Because your landlord will.

References: Are you a good tenant? Of course, you no doubt think so. But your landlord needs to find out from other sources that you actually are the great guy or girl that you appear to be. In order to do this, they will probably seek a reference from your current or previous landlord. They may also check with your employer to make sure that you have secure employment. If this all checks out, then you’re one giant step closer to getting that brand new home.

Guarantor: If you are a student, on benefits or just don’t make the income threshold to rent a particular property, a guarantor can sometimes be an option as something to fall back on. This is normally a family member, such as a parent, who has the income available to cover your rent should you fail to do so on any given month. This reassures the landlord that, no matter what happens, they will get their money one way or the other. It is always best, however, that you can pay your own rent without help as it shows that you are a stable and reliable tenant.

There can appear to be a lot of hoops to jump through in order the rent a home, but it’s purely for the protection of all involved and, if you get it, it will absolutely all be worth it.

Best thing is to be prepared for all of these points before you even apply. Then, you can smash it out of the park and get the home you always dreamed of.