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Quizzing prospective tenants about their past tenancies or life can, at best, be awkward; you’re keen to sign them up but on the other hand you don’t want a tenant from hell moving in.
Here’s some questions to ask yourself as you talk.

How many times have they rented?
If they’ve had multiple landlords over a relatively short period then this could flag up a problem tenant – as they may be moving around a lot as tenancies go wrong.

Do they have a pay-as-you-go or contract mobile phone?
People who have contract phones tend to be those better manage their finances while pay-as-you-go phone owners might not. It’s easy to find out – tell them there’s a shop around the corner where they can ‘top up’; if they sound delighted then you know what sort of phone them have.

Were they the registered account holder for utilities at their last address?
It’s a simple rule of renting – the most responsible member of a shared rental property tends to be the person the others trust to gather the money owed and get bills paid. It’s reasonable to assume therefore that they will also make good tenants too.

Do they usually ‘get along’ with their landlord?
Referencing only picks up on negatives – late bill or rent payments or inconsistent employment but one way to assess a prospective tenant is to ask how well they get on with landlords. If they can give a couple of positive and even amusing examples (inviting them to their wedding would be a good one) then happy days may be ahead. If they can’t then the opposite may be true.

Once you’re happy to proceed and start paperwork, remember to get references first. For more information on Upad’s referencing services visit

Related articles
1. What you should know about tenant referencing
2. Top 5 rental problems and how to solve them
3. Vetting tenants

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By Simon Knock
18 Jul 2013

Categories: Property Rentals



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