Eviction expert's top tips on tenant referencing

Free tenant eviction advice from our eviction expert Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action

Last week my tenant eviction service, Landlord Action, had an article in the Mail on Sunday which featured two of our landlords. They have been conned by professional bad tenants and we’re currently evicting their tenants through the courts. 

This is a common problem for landlords. Tenants pay their first month’s rent and deposit, but don’t pay rent thereafter and the tenants then attempt to remain in the property as long as possible rent free. 

I regularly talk about this problem with landlords. But how can a landlord spot a professional bad tenant? Well, the answer is that landlords should check the tenants out properly before they sign the tenancy agreement.

If you don’t do tenant referencing at the start of the tenancy agreement, you'll find it very difficult to claim back your rent, should the tenant go into rent arrears.

Here are my top tips on how to tenant reference thoroughly:

  1. Obtain tenant references.
  2. Ask your tenant for at least three months of bank statements.
  3. Ask the tenant for an employer reference to find out how long the tenant has worked for them.
  4. Use a credit referencing service.
  5. Obtain personal information from the tenant by asking for a utility bill statement.
  6. Speak to the tenant’s previous landlords.
  7. Find out if the tenant has any assets.
  8. Obtain a copy of the tenant’s passport.
  9. Obtain the tenant’s National Insurance number.
  10. Secure a guarantor (for example, a parent).
  11. If you use a management agent, find out about the company.
  12. Find out if the management company has a large management department.
  13. Ask to speak to some of the management company’s landlords.

And finally…..

Tenant eviction isn’t a laughing matter, but sometimes funny things do happen when you’re evicting tenants.

Last Wednesday one of our process servers, who serve our tenant eviction notices on bad tenants, served an eviction notice on a tenant who had just got out of the bath.

But instead of calmly accepting the eviction notice, the tenant became angry and chased our process server down the street in his birthday suit … with only a towel on to cover his blushes!!

Paul Shamplina set up the tenant eviction and debt recovery service Landlord Action in 1999. To date they have evicted over 16,000 bad tenants for landlords across the country. He has featured on BBC1’s Inside Out and War at the Door and ITV’s Tenants from Hell. He has given over 300 talks to landlords at seminars nationwide.

More 'Top Tips' tenant eviction advice from Paul

Further Tenant Eviction Advice

Further Tenant Referencing Advice

Published on: June 2, 2008

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