Prevention, Rather Than Cure

It’s the nature of the business that I’m in that I deal with a lot of unhappy landlords. Landlords who have had their trust abused, been ripped off and left to clear up someone else’s mess. Most of the people reading this blog will have been in that situation at some time or another.
Most landlords come to me for help sorting the situation out, but we often get round to discussing how to prevent it happening next time. Naturally we talk about inventories, interim inspections and properly drafted tenancy agreements, which I will no doubt discuss the finer points of in the future, but I also raise the issue of tenant referencing. 
Landlords who use agents to find their tenants will tend to rely on their agent to perform background checks on the prospective tenant, but few enquire as to the nature of the checks. A surprising number of independent landlords perform no background check at all on potential tenants, not even a credit check. When I ask them why not, they seem to think it is something expensive that only big companies can do. For a start, credit checks can be performed for very little, but did you know that the most effective form of tenant check is free?

I met the guys from Landlord Referencing Service (LRS) last year at a landlord event in Cardiff and I was amazed at the story behind the website. It was set up by Paul Routledge, a landlord who was stabbed and left for dead by one of his own tenants, which is one hell of a way to spot a gap in the market. Seeing a need to check his own tenants more thoroughly, Paul conceived a way for landlords to exchange information over the internet. 
LRS is a very modern service, as it relies entirely on user input and is completely free of charge to use. All it requires is for landlords in your area to log on and post warnings about difficult tenants. The information can then be accessed by other landlords to help prevent them having the same problems you’ve had. Once registered, the system will even alert you when particularly difficult tenants are house hunting in your area.
I fully support the scheme, and I’m sure you will see the benefits once you’ve looked at the site. After all, you don’t want what happened to Paul to happen to you.
Did I mention it’s free to use? 

One Response to “Prevention, Rather Than Cure”

  1. Darrell Says:

    This approach has been standard for several years. This result becomes even more marked.

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