Vetting new tenants

Image of new tenant moving into an apartment. Vetting new tenants is an important service provided by H&L

Vetting new tenants is an important element of maximising your returns from your investment property. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences.

When you are planning to rent your property, it is important to discuss with your letting agent what kind of tenant you believe would be suitable for the accommodation you are providing. It is paramount that you find a reliable and suitable tenant who will respect your property.

Your letting agent can also use their expertise to advise on this. Here at Herbert and Lansdowne, we can use our database of tenants seeking accommodation to provide you with an excellent tenant placement service and ensure we find you the best fit tenant for your property.

Why is vetting new tenants important?

Before a lease can be signed, we ensure that all tenants are adequately vetted. Vetting tenants is one of the most important parts of managing your rental property, as it provides reassurance that the whole rental process will run smoothly.

Vetting ensures that the values of the landlord align with that of the tenant and that the standards that a landlord expects from their tenants are met. It also provides further security that a tenant is in a financial position to be able to pay the rent required. Vetting ensures that the right tenant is selected for your property.

Anyone that has ever endured the financial pain and misery that accrues from a tenant who is gaming the system will understand that the quality of the tenant is vital.

How do we go about vetting new tenants?

During the viewings, your letting agent will ensure that they are at your property to meet each prospective tenant and ask them questions. Here are a few examples of the types of questions tenants may be asked;

  • Where are they currently residing?
  • What are their reasons for moving?
  • Have they rented before and for how long?
  • What are the reasons they are not renewing their current lease?
  • The number of occupants expected to be residing in the property?
  • How have their previous tenancies gone?
  • Would their previous landlords be available to provide a reference?
  • What is their current employment situation?
  • Is the employment full- time or part-time?
  • Can they provide an employment reference?
  • Do they have any pets or children?
  • Can they provide evidence of confirmation that they can afford the rent being asked for this property?

From the information gathered by your letting agent, they can use this to do a thorough background check and ensure that all references given are verifiable. Previous landlords and current employers can be contacted to ensure all information matches up.

The tenant’s ability to afford the rent being asked for the property can be checked by requesting bank statements, payslips and a letter from their employer confirming their salary amount or confirmation of entitlement to HAP or rent supplement, if applicable.

Their identification can be verified from a form of photo ID such as a passport or driver’s licence, recent utility bill or proof of address at current residence.

All tenancies must be registered with the RTB and so this database can be checked to verify previous tenancies in which they were involved.

Once your letting agent has secured you a reliable tenant with whom you are satisfied, a lease will be drawn up and signed along with a deposit taken to cover any potential damages or wear and tear. The lease can include specific clauses which you feel strongly about, such as no smoking or lighting of candles, under the special conditions section. An inventory will also be drawn up by your agent to ensure everything is accounted for at the end of the tenancy.

During the tenancy, your letting agent will carry out inspections. This can take place twice annually or every 3-4 months, after notification has been given to the tenant. These inspections will ensure that the tenants are continuing to abide by the lease agreement and are taking good care of your property during their tenancy.

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