How landlords can avoid letting to difficult tenants

Picking a suitable tenant could save you from a long and costly eviction process should the worst happen. To increase your odds of finding a responsible and respectable tenant for your property, be thorough in conducting background checks and reference-gathering.

Private landlords can often be less rigorous in background checks than the professional lettings agents in Southend. This could mean any prospective tenants with ulterior motives, might target private landlords in the hope of little or no tenant referencing. For example, police in England and Wales have released statistics stating 20 rented properties a day are found being used as brothels, cannabis farms or for dealing drugs.

At Pace, we find tenants looking to rent property on behalf of private landlords. We request bank statements for the past three months, previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time and credit checks incorporating fraud indicators and employer references.

We also check identity and proof of current address – ideally tax or insurance documents – and talk at length to any prospective tenant. We ask lots of questions about a prospective tenant’s reason for moving and spend time with them during the application process. Our intention is to strike a good relationship with them from the beginning. This also allows us to build up a picture of the person we are dealing with.

To eliminate any future disputes, we also take a full inventory of the property, including photographs where appropriate and request a deposit. This is held in a tenants deposit protection scheme which is now a legal requirement.

Once the tenant has moved into the property, we organise inspection visits every couple of months to ensure the property is being used as per the tenancy agreement and to check the property’s condition. If the tenant is difficult to pin down and it’s hard to agree a time to visit, alarms bells start to ring. Sending in legitimate contractors for gas and electricity safety inspections can be a useful way to assess what’s going on!

If you have a property to let in Southend and would like to find a tenant, please call our lettings department to discuss how our tenant find service may be of interest.

Posted by Marcus James; Lettings Manager at Pace Plc, family-owned independent Estate Agents in Southend-on Sea.

We are happy to offer half an hour of face-to-face advice to local landlords in difficult situations free of charge. Please telephone and ask to speak to Martin, Marcus or Crystal.

Marcus James is Lettings Manager at Pace Plc, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent. He deals with every aspect of the property letting process, providing expert and candid advice together with tailor-made marketing plans for each property he lists for rental.

Marcus prides himself on ensuring our landlord clients get the best return in the right timeframe for their investments by conducting rental appraisals, letting viewings and oversees the running of the lettings department.

Pace Property Lettings & Management Ltd
South Essex Landlords and Property Investor Network
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"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. They marketed the flats for a week and conducted a strict open house event on the following Sunday for 4 hours. Within this slot 15 flats were let with the remainder let the following week.

The Director of Runwood Homes

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a very professional member of staff. Sara always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important for any landlord. Sara deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if she needs to. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution.

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager for our properties. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country. To be able to phone our manager who understands our properties and how we operate is for us complete peace of mind.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele Moore who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently.

All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)