From the get-go, have a criteria and be as thorough as possible – this will save you TIME and MONEY in the long run. Think about if you want to rent to people with bad debt (how are you going to check for this), can the tenant afford the rent (how are you going to calculate this), if you want children, dogs, smokers etc. You need to have a strict criteria from the very start so you have tenants who will not only look after your property but also pay the rent and leave it in the correct condition when they leave. This is what we do as a letting agent every single time we find a tenant.
Cast your net far and wide
There are lots and lots of tenants out there and you must filter your leads by asking the right questions and find out as much as you possibly can:
- Who’s going to be living in the property?
- Are you working or claiming LHA/universal credit?
- Have you got any issue with rental arrears or bad credit?
- Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence?
- Do you have any pets?
- Do you want to be putting forward someone with 5 dogs, 3 cats, a hamster and lizard?
- Will your 2 bed property be over-crowded with 5 people living there?
- Your tenants are paying back housing benefit overpayments and have an IVA –can they afford the rent/top up?
- Find out about rental history and ask why they are leaving their current property – tenants will tell you if they are being evicted!
- Affordability – Can you afford this house?
- Working full time – we set a benchmark that a worker must earn at least 35 times the monthly rent or a minimum of £15K
e.g. £500pm = a (combined) salary of £17.5K
Detail is key with benefits!!!
For LHA you need to calculate what they get and /or what there allowance is, all housing benefit rates are available on direct.gov websites.
If there is a top up – can they afford this? We allow a top up of only £40 for a couple, 1 child = £50 / 2 & 3 kids = £60
In our experience this is a tried and tested method that works, designed to safeguard your property and is done all on the phone before anyone has even stepped a foot through the door.
There’s lots to think about when renting to a new tenant, if you find any of this complicated, have a question or simply wish to find out more then please contact NGU Homelettings on 0191 491 0344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Lettings Manager
T: 0191 491 0344 Option 1