Why should I check references?

Why should I check references?

During the new tenant selection process, it’s really important that you take the time to do a thorough background check on your prospective tenant. Although you can use services such as Doublecheck to conduct an actual background check and find out about the tenants:

  • Police history
  • Tenancy Tribunal history
  • Court orders and fines
  • Social media, and media presence

the tenant’s references will give you an idea of that person and the type of tenant they’re likely to be. This will help you to avoid experiencing any nasty surprises further down the line.

The importance of a reference check

References are a great way to get to know what your potential tenant is really like, as this may differ to the person that they present to you. If you take the time to meet with your prospective tenant, the situation is going to be similar to a job interview. This person very much wants to rent your property, and is likely going to do their best to come off as the best possible candidate.
If you ask your prospective tenant questions such as:
“When I call your past landlord what would they say about you?”
and their answer is confidently positive, then it is unlikely that they’re hiding anything. However, it is always important to actually check their references and to call their past landlord to ensure it reflects the truth.

The risks of not checking

Doing a reference check isn’t a compulsory part of finding new tenants, but it’s very much recommended. A previous landlord is going to be able to tell you about things like their rent-paying habits, and how well they looked after their rental.
If a prospective tenant realises that you’re not going to do a background check, they might be inclined to leave out important details. These details could include past evictions, past Tenancy Tribunal orders, and other issues that could evolve into headaches for you down the line.
Now that you know why references are important, you should start thinking about what you should ask. Different references should be asked different questions. More information on this can be found in the article below:
What should I ask when checking references?

Featured photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

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