How to avoid Nightmare Tenants

Any landlord knows the best tenants are the ones that pay their rent on time and are only ever heard from to report faults without demanding immediate results.

Such a tenant ensures the maximum return on your property, even treating it with the respect and care you would expect from a home owner. When, after many years of occupancy, they find it is time to leave they give the correct notice and even leave the home in a perfect state for you to put it right back on the market.

Yes, these tenants do exist.

So how do you manage to appeal to these people who will bring a maximum return on your investment, instead of pestering you and your agency at all hours of the day and leaving a number of unpaid bills? Here’s some top tips to make sure you are appealing to the right market.


Discover Hidden Backgrounds. You wouldn’t give a job to a person without references, so don’t offer your property out blindly. While agencies will offer to do this for you, if you are not using an agency there are companies like Experian which will run background checks on all your potential tenants. This will reveal important details, such as whether the applicant has as any County Court Judgements against them and whether their employment and salary details are correct, amongst other things.

Landlord Approval: Some firms will go beyond just a credit check and supply this in a comprehensive search, yet if a tenant can supply you with a reference from his previous landlord, it speaks well for the relationship they have had in the past. The Residential Landlords Association provides a comprehensive service to enable Landlords to thoroughly check the history of any prospective tenant. Combining this with a credit check provides a great deal of information.


Show The Tenant The Property. It’s not unreasonable to ask to see identification such as passports during the application process, but you’ll get the best idea of a tenant if you are there to meet them in person. For example, you can probably confirm whether an applicant is a non-smoker or a pet owner much easier in person than on an application form.


Ask for a guarantor, and hold the tenant’s deposit must be held in a Tenant Deposit Protection scheme to help against any damage left behind. A rental guarantor will protect against unpaid rent. Just be sure the guarantor is either a home owner or in full time employment.

Nothing can guarantee that you’ll never have a bad tenant, but a bit of diligence early on can avoid a great many arguments later.