The renting market is tough at the moment. Real estate giant Zoopla recently reported that tenants face fierce competition for rental homes, with 68% of letting agents saying that they see more people wanting to rent than there are properties available. Here’s a couple of tips on how to separate the responsible from the irresponsible and the measures to take if you get stuck with the latter.

Finding the Best Tenants

To advertise your property, consider how you can effectively use social media tools. Once you start to receive some applicants, you’ll want to check their previous renting history and their current employment status. Ask them for a way to contact a previous landlord. They’ll be able to tell you if they paid the rent on time and left the property in good condition when they left. Problem free, long-term tenants need stable sources of income, too, so call their employer to make sure they’re telling you the truth about their monthly income.

If you don’t have the time to perform these checks, you can pay third-party services to do this for you and ensure you get the right tenants but you have to consider this price in addition to your new landlord insurance cost.

Getting the Right Cover

Even the most experienced landlord will have a story of a nightmare tenant so you’ll need to adequately insure your property. In addition to buildings and content cover you’ll also need specialty landlord insurance. This can cover circumstances specific to landlords such as a non-payment of rent or the loss of earnings that would occur if a tenant is forced to move out because of a disaster that makes the property uninhabitable.

Liability insurance will help to pay for any legal fees that are required if someone was hurt on your property. Similarly, if you are planning to employ anyone on the premises, such as a cleaner or maintenance engineer, you’ll also need to take out employer’s liability cover.

Finally, request a deposit before they move in. This can be used to deduct the cost of anything that goes missing by the end of their contract. Insurance companies rarely account for these kinds of instances in their contents insurance as it results in them having to pay out on lots of small claims.

Because of the demand in the housing market, landlords might think they can take it easy. The truth is, however, that this increased demand means landlords need to spend more time than ever making sure they get the best tenants available.

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