Landlords are checking on their tenants online
Some landlords have now taken to checking their prospective tenants on Social Media ahead of renting their property. Apart from proper tenant reference checks, i.e. Right to Rent, address, employer and financial history checks, landlords are conducting so-called ‘personality checks’ on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to ascertain what kind of person their new tenant is.
Just like some employers are more and more often resorting to vetting recruits on Social Media ahead of employment, some landlords have turned Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms to identify potentially concerning habits or attitudes of prospective tenants. Lots of party pictures could have a negative impact on the landlord’s decision to rent to them, as well as excessive drinking habits or posting a lot of pictures of their pets or animals in general. While people might not brag openly about their anti-social behaviour, not paying their bills or how much debt they’re running up, a Facebook or Twitter review can help to show issues that might point towards disrespect towards other people or excessive spending habits.
Some landlords even take it that one step further and search for tenants on Social Media, posting on Facebook to their friends and followers to find new tenants for their properties. While the success of Social Media tenant finding depends on the amount of friends and followers a landlord has, and how many of these or of their acquaintances are looking for accommodation, it can take out the intermediary High Street or online letting agent and reduce the costs of tenants.
What these landlords should not cut, however, is proper tenant reference checks including employer reference checks, Right to Rent and credit history checks. Make sure you undertake proper tenant referencing before you let them into your property, regardless of whether you are using a letting agent or if you’re a managing landlord. Searching Social Media can help give peace of mind, if you’re still anxious, but it cannot be a substitute for a thorough referencing process.
Total Tenant Referencing can take the hassle out of making sure you have found the right tenants for your property. Visit http://www.totaltenantreferencing.co.uk/ to find out more.
About the authorChris Rowell, Business Development Executive, has been working for the Hamilton Fraser group, which includes well-known brands Total Landlord Insurance, mydeposits, the Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protection, for over 12 years. He is Cert CII qualified and an established presenter at industry events on how to manage property risks. Chris represents Total Landlord Insurance at exhibitions and landlord forums throughout the UK, connecting with landlords and property professionals, giving advice on all aspects buy-to-let. Give him a ring on 07983 150 433 or email Chris.Rowell@hamiltonfraser.co.uk.
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