Rogue Tenants: How Landlords can Protect Themselves
Unfortunately, every landlord runs the risk of renting a property to a bad tenant.
Whether in the form of anti-social behaviour, damages to property or missed rent payments, bad tenants can be hugely inconvenient and stressful to the homeowner. Whilst there is no foolproof way to stay clear of pesky rogue tenants, these tips can minimize the chance of your property falling into the wrong hands.
Vet your Tenants
Simple checks on the tenant’s credit rating, employment status and references can point to a good or bad tenant. If your potential tenant passes all of these tests, it’s usually a very good indication that you’ve found yourself a trustworthy candidate.
Make an Inventory
List, in detail, every fixture and every item of furniture on the premises and the condition in which they are in. Have your tenants check the inventory against the house and sign two copies – one for your records and one for theirs. This way, when the tenant vacates the property, they can’t dispute any damage that they’ve inflicted.
Take a Deposit
A good indicator as to whether your tenants are serious about the property and can afford the rent is to ask for a deposit – usually the sum of 1 or 2 months rent. This money should be kept in a legal deposit protection scheme and the cost of repairing any damage to your property found at the end of the tenancy can be deducted from this amount before being returned to the tenant.
Be clear about your terms for living in the house. If you don’t want pets, loud parties, or drastic redecorating, now is the time to say – and don’t forget to include your expectations for the upkeep of the garden. By agreeing to this document, your tenants are agreeing to uphold your standards for the property, and failure to comply can allow you to immediately penalise or evict the tenants.
If your tenant isn’t treating your property properly, you can take steps to serve an eviction notice. Bear in mind, when doing so you must provide the tenant with an acceptable notice period. If the tenant refuses to leave the property after the notice period is up, you need to apply to the courts for a possession order and, if granted, apply for an eviction warrant from the county council who will then send bailiffs to ensure the tenants vacate the property.
Another great tip to protect yourself from rogue tenants is to take out landlord insurance. This can cover a variety of the tenant’s failings, including missing rent payments, legal charges, and damages to the property. Coverage starts out very affordable and is a worthwhile investment to protect your assets from unruly strangers.
For an unbeatable landlord insurance quote, contact The Insurance Store today. Our insurance covers a wide range of circumstances including letting to students, holiday lets, housing benefits tenants and much more. With a wide range of insurance providers and the option to insure multiple properties, we’ve really got all the bases covered.