When you become a landlord, whether for the first time or even if you have been doing it for a while, it is always stressful to find tenants.
It is normal to worry about who you are choosing. Are they the right person? Will they trash the place? Will they pay their rent on time? What have they been like in the past?
Yes, you can call their references and ask questions, but are those references genuine? Or are they friends of the potential tenant posing as a landlord?
Some landlords employ a Property Manager to take care of it for them. There are others who run on gut feeling (those who have been in the business for a while), and there are those who make their potential tenants jump through as many hoops as possible, in the hopes that only the good ones will make it though. But how often do you consult “the bad books”?
These are tenancy databases that are referred to as “Blacklists” or a “Bad Tenant Database”. This is where you will find information about the renting history of certain tenants.
These services are usually accessed via paying a membership fee, and allow members to search prospective tenants and lists of previous tenants.
There are a few cautions if you are considering using these services:
- You must inform potential tenants that you subscribe to a tenancy database
- You must provide the details of the service you subscribe to
- You must provide the details in writing on the Tenancy Application
If your prospective tenant fills in an application and you find some disconcerting information after searching the database, you must advise the prospective tenant in writing, within 7 days.
- The name of the database and any information on the person who listed the information
- That their information has been held in the database
- The steps on how the tenant can check, change or remove the listing (usually by contacting the person who listed them)
Have you used a database before? Is it worthwhile, or do you prefer another mouthed on ensuring your tenants are going to be good ones?