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Using a tenant's credit report to weed out time wasters etc

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Author Topic: Using a tenant's credit report to weed out time wasters etc  (Read 164 times)
Newbie
Posts: 1

I like property

« on: May 26, 2022, 01:40:51 PM »

Hi, has anyone requested sight of a prospective tenant's credit report before formally proceeding with a tenancy application?

In order to save time, wasted 20 searches, and deter tenants who know or ought to that they are unlikely to meet requirements, I have in mind to ask potential tenants to register for free on Check My file and provide a copy of their report. The hope is that the no-chancers will drop out, clearing the way for serious applicants. It would also provide the opportunity for the applicant to come clean about any known issues. If I were a prospective tenant I would rather fall at the first fence than have my employer etc approached about a tenancy that does not proceed.

Living some 160+ miles away also makes wasted trips an issue.

Thanks,

Blue Tiger
Full Member
Posts: 193

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2022, 09:52:51 AM »

People are going to hate signing up for a 14.99 paid-monthly service and then having to remember to cancel.

Jr. Member
Posts: 82

I like property

« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022, 10:09:32 AM »

You can't require a tenant or prospective tenant to sign up to anything (free or not) as part of the requirement to rent a property.
Tenant Fees Act.

I'm not sure that anyone would be interested in enforcing such a breach or that anyone would complain to an enforcement authority in the first place.

A number of people have had some significant success simply by including in the advertising for the property what checks will be required and what the expected results will need to be, because that removes a large percentage of the time wasters.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 1551

I like property

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2022, 10:20:29 AM »

Living so far away,I would consider using the services of an agent to find and vet tenants,and carry out viewings.Surely the cost of driving back and forth needs to be considered? I pay a one-off fee to a local very reliable independant agent which includes photos, check-in and documents.He charges me half of the first months rent. I can arrange to meet or phone the applicants if I choose to.
Full Member
Posts: 193

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2022, 10:24:24 AM »

A number of people have had some significant success simply by including in the advertising for the property what checks will be required and what the expected results will need to be, because that removes a large percentage of the time wasters.

Agreed.

I use the OpenRent platform and set it to automatically send out the following message when a prospective tenant makes an enquiry:

--------------
Thank you for your enquiry.

The next steps are:

1. I will arrange a phone call with you to get to know you better and give you the chance to ask questions about the flat. Please send me your phone number if it isn't already in your OpenRent profile.

2. If the call goes well, I will send a Prospective Tenant Information Form for you to complete.

3. I will arrange viewings for people who return a satisfactory Information Form.

4. I will obtain References and conduct Credit Checks prior to renting the property.

Many thanks
--------------


It clearly sets out my process and expectations.

Time wasters are weeded out in their response to this message, or in the phone call. Only a few good candidates get the Prospective Tenant Information Form. Only if this is satisfactory, do they get a viewing.

It has worked well for me.

Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4466

Abuse Officer

« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2022, 12:10:16 PM »

I would suggest a telephone conversation with the prospective Tenants. This requires none of the effort you are worried about and you can effectively say anything to set expectations without having anything written down. Yes, you can judge a person by having a conversation prior to meeting them in real life, if that is where it progresses to. You can talk about their reasons for moving to this area / property specifically (maybe a school or you're pet friendly)... about any requests that they may have (they absolutely must bring their giant hot tub along to help oil their frequent swinger parties)... a much better way of having someone "come clean" than a downloaded PDF.

I have had people with CCJs who've turned-out to not be bad Tenants at all. I've had a published Professor, with plenty of disposable income, who I'd not let to again. There's going to be risks either way... but a phone chat should weed out the folk you don't consider applicable.
Full Member
Posts: 193

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2022, 12:29:09 PM »

a phone chat should weed out the folk you don't consider applicable.

Agreed (as per my Step 1 above).

During the phone call, I take plenty of notes and then compare them with what people write on the Prospective Tenant Information Form (Step 2).

I had one potential tenant who had forgotten the lie they had told me on the phone. Their story didn't match what they wrote on the Form. They didn't get a viewing.

Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 1051

Donald Trumps Son

« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 11:47:03 PM »

A number of people have had some significant success simply by including in the advertising for the property what checks will be required and what the expected results will need to be, because that removes a large percentage of the time wasters.

Agreed.

I use the OpenRent platform and set it to automatically send out the following message when a prospective tenant makes an enquiry:

--------------
Thank you for your enquiry.

The next steps are:

1. I will arrange a phone call with you to get to know you better and give you the chance to ask questions about the flat. Please send me your phone number if it isn't already in your OpenRent profile.

2. If the call goes well, I will send a Prospective Tenant Information Form for you to complete.

3. I will arrange viewings for people who return a satisfactory Information Form.

4. I will obtain References and conduct Credit Checks prior to renting the property.

Many thanks
--------------


It clearly sets out my process and expectations.

Time wasters are weeded out in their response to this message, or in the phone call. Only a few good candidates get the Prospective Tenant Information Form. Only if this is satisfactory, do they get a viewing.

It has worked well for me.

I like this automated message, care to share the contents of your PTI form?
Full Member
Posts: 193

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 11:47:04 AM »

Quote
Care to share the contents of your PTI form?

Sure, why not. See the attached.

I took the basic structure of the form from somewhere (possibly The Landlord Blog?) and then adapted it as I saw fit.

During the initial phone call, I ask many of the questions that are on the form, plus a few others depending on how the call is going and the feel I have about the prospective tenant. Extra questions may include:

Why are you moving?
How much do you currently pay for rent?
When do you plan on moving in?
How long do you require the property for?
How long have you been working at your current job?
Will you have the Security Deposit and First Month’s Rent available before moving in?
Can you provide references from your employer and former Landlord?
What type of ID documents do you have Passport etc?
Will you consent to a credit and background check?
Have you ever been evicted?
Do you have any CCJ’s bad debt – criminal convictions?
Do you have any other questions?

It may seem very formal, but if you are having a reasonable chat with a prospective tenant, then it's possible to weave all the questions into the flow without making it sound like an interrogation.

Many of the applicants can be weeded out within a couple of minutes. For these, I close the call early by saying that I have several people who responded ahead of them, so if they wish, I will add their name to the list and get back to them if none of the others want to proceed.  I always do get back to them (by text, or via the OpenRent messaging) so that they are not left wondering whether they are still in the running or not.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 01:34:43 PM by HandyMan »
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