The importance of tenant checks

News that Basildon Council is to spend an estimated £18 million removing 400 gypsies from an illegal site at Dale Farm (which some among their number own) has sent shiver down the spine of many a landlord.

That’s in the region of £45,000 a head; probably far more than the rating contribution of most of the residents over the last decade.
It’s one of those perennial problems that doesn’t disappear. It simply gets moved from one place to another.

Like it or not, there are individual bad tenants who reflect this problem, too; habitual bad payer, squatters, irresponsible occupants and those prepared to lie, forge and cheat to get occupation.

That’s why it’s essential for landlords, particularly inexperienced ones, to run tenant checks, use modern tenant tracing techniques to find ‘runners’ who’ve disappeared owning back rent and observe the provisions of Section 8 and Sectio 21 of the Housing Act.

If you don’t know and understand what an Energy Performance Certificate, AT6 Notice, or a Section 33 Notice is, you’re probably best not going into the buy-to-let market or the letting market generally.

Many people with a working knowledge of Mortgages and Finance are tempted to have a go at property ownership as an investment. With a little help from experts in landlord services and a working knowledge of debt collection, it can certainly provide good returns. (That goes for Scotland, too, although the law surrounding Scottish evictions under Scotland 1988 is a bit different).

Our advice is that being a landlord is like any other kind of enterprise which puts your money at risk; risky, until you learn the business and find out what you’re doing.

If you’re tempted, make sure you’re au fait with finance, tenancy agreements, evictions and human rights law first! Or call us.