Letting your property – Our weekly blog continues here with advice on selecting a Tenant:

Finding the right tenant is the most important aspect of letting a property. A letting agent can deal with this. If you are not using a letting agent, we hope that these comments will be of use:-

• Always meet your tenants and interview them as to their suitability.

• Obtain references, including one from a previous landlord, if appropriate, a bank reference and another reference, preferably from his/her employer.

• Check who will be living with the tenant.

• Does the proposed tenant have pets? If so, is this acceptable to you?

• Is the tenant in work? If not, remember Housing Benefit will not cover all the rent.

• Does the tenant or members of his/her family smoke? If so, is that acceptable to you?

• Is the tenant likely to get on with your neighbours? If not, you will get the blame! This is particularly important if you are letting a flat.

• Make sure that the tenant knows that he will have to sign the tenancy agreement and pay the deposit and first month’s rent before moving in.

• Tell the tenant that he should arrange his own contents insurance to cover personal belongings.

• If possible, especially if the tenant is not in regular employment, ask for a Guarantor of the rent, such as a parent.