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    Avoiding Rent Arrears – The First Steps

    Rent arrears can happen for a number of different reasons that is a fact. Many of these are unavoidable, such as loss of income or employment, or even health issues or bereavement or quite simply a problem with the methods of payment. Whatever the reason it can be a very worrying time for landlords In addition to the above, there are also a number of avoidable circumstances where rent arrears can occur and could potentially be prevented by being proactive rather than reactive. These include: repair and maintenance issues within the property which have not been addressed; problems associated with tenants living beyond their means; insufficient referencing of tenants; initial checks not being carried out prior to the start of the tenancy or quite simply a disagreement between tenant and landlord.

    Whatever the reason it is always better to avoid rent arrears in the first place – so how can this be done? Rent arrears can often be avoided by taking a few sensible steps during the process of finding your tenant. If you have found your own tenant, then before you move them in consider talking to a local agent who may offer you discounted fees to do the references, agreement and inventory on your behalf.

    If you chose not to take this option, and deal with the tenant yourself, then there are a few careful steps you should take before moving any potential tenant into your property; always contact any previous landlords and ask for a reference for your tenant. Amongst other questions always check whether they have paid their rent on time and how they paid their rent; did they get their full deposit back and if not why not? Would they rent to them again or were they asked to leave?

    It is always advisable to check the previous tenancy agreement matches the landlord’s details as it’s all too easy to give a name and number just to obtain a good reference.

    Another important check to do is to obtain an employer reference to confirm the tenant works where they say they do wherever possible ask to have sight of a bank statement showing a regular income coming in! If you are in any doubt ask for a guarantor.

    If, after doing the above checks, there is still an element of doubt, then go with your instincts and don’t be in a rush to move in the first tenant you find. There are plenty of great tenants around and a bad tenant can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Your local Manchester Letting Agent  will have hundreds of excellent tenants on their books and will have the facilities to do all the relevant references and this may, in the long run, be the more cost effective option.

    For more information on Manchester City Centre Lettings contact your local agent Julie Twist Properties 0161 834 8486 or visit our website.

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