4 questions to ask potential tenants as lettings demand heats up

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4 QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL TENANTS AS LETTINGS DEMAND HEATS UP_FINAL-min

Guest blog by Goodlord, a property lettings software that improves the renting process for agents, landlords and tenants alike.


Demand in lettings has been gradually building in recent months – and shows no sign of abating as we head into the summer, with rents currently high and voids low across England according to Goodlord’s May Rental Index. It’s important to make sure you’re not wasting your agency’s time or money on applicants your referencing provider would advise against.

If you don’t use a referencing provider such as Goodlord that can help you pre-qualify your tenants, you can ensure you’re picking applicants who will breeze through the referencing process by asking a few simple questions. You don’t need to ask for any documents or references at this stage – it’s more about making sure you’re aware of the applicant’s situation before putting them through referencing. If their answers raise any red flags, you might want to choose a more suitable applicant for the property instead.

Making tenants aware of what will be involved in the referencing process will also improve their experience by avoiding any surprises along the way. You can even share a referencing checklist with them in advance, to make them aware of everything that may be required.

Let them know they’ll be contacted if there are any aspects of their application still outstanding, that their references and guarantors will also be contacted, and where they can go to find extra information on the process. 

Key questions to ask potential tenants:

What ID do they have?

Establish whether potential applicants have the correct right to rent documents – and read up on the new online system that will be mandatory from 1 July 2021 through the “View and Prove” process for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, to ensure you can talk tenants through it where relevant. Refer them to gov.co.uk if they would like more information on what’s legally required.

How will they be paying rent?

Find out the type of income they have – for example, permanent or temporary employment, pensions, or self-employed – and how much they’re earning. You should already know how much a tenant would need to earn to pay rent on the property. If they’re on a low salary, you can let them know they will need a guarantor – who will also require an income check – in order to rent the property. You may also want to check with your landlord their preference when it comes to tenants on furlough with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being phased out in increments at the end of September 2021.

Do they have an adverse credit history?

Ask applicants if they’re aware of an adverse credit history – if they do, they’re unlikely to pass the credit check. Applicants with adverse credit should always declare it for the best possible outcome.

Are they currently renting?

Find out whether applicants are currently renting, which will mean a reference will be required from their current landlord. If they’re living with friends or family, a referee won’t be necessary.


Guest blog by Goodlord, a property lettings software that improves the renting process for agents, landlords and tenants alike.

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