Your property fell vacant. After a long and hard search, you just have a new tenant lined up for the property. So how do you go about checking whether the tenant is suitable for your property or not? Do they have a criminal record? Is the rent payment history really good enough? These are questions to which most property owners have no answers. In India, you go by the face value of the person (literally) with nothing more to back up your intuition. And unfortunately, there is no system like in developed countries to access something like a credit history (tenancy history) and then base your decision on it.
So here are some key things to do / check before renting out your property.
1) Check the credentials of your tenant
This is easier said than done. Most of the time you just have a business card or not even that and just a name. Though there are some companies that do credential checks much like they do an employment verification, asking for the prospective tenant’s approval for this is akin to stepping on a landmine. Tenants are sensitive about any kind of verification and may see it as an intrusion of their privacy. So here are steps you can adopt to check the tenant’s credentials without alarming them.
* Request for a business card
* Ensure you send some communication to the official email and request the tenant to reply back with a confirmation. This way you are sure the business card is genuine and that you are indeed dealing with someone who is working in the company, they claim to be.
* Please include PAN details and permanent address proof (Aadhar / passport) in the lease agreement and on that pretext request for a copy of these documents. That validates the person’s identity and his permanent address as well.
* If the person works for a well known company, it is likely that he will be found on Linkedin or through a Google search on his email.
* It is also not out of place to request for the office phone number just so that you can be doubly sure.
2) Ask for references
If possible check for the reference of the previous landlord and do speak to them. Anyone who has not had a good relationship with his landlord will be very reluctant to give references. If the person is new to the city, it is best to ask for good references known to him either at work or outside. Giving a reference means that the chances of chronic default or delay will be reduced because you don’t want everyone knowing that you are being errant.
3) Make your lease agreement water tight
Ensuring that your lease agreement is good is the first deterrent to prevent an errant tenant. If the clauses are clear and the penalties for delayed or non-payment are clear, it is most likely that a chronic defaulter or someone who is accustomed to delaying payments will object to it and try to change things or wiggle out of the contract. If your prospective tenant is clearly uncomfortable with even pretty straight forward and fair clauses that is a clear sign for you to be wary.
4) Check out who is going to be staying there.
Always have some written confirmation about who is going to be staying there. If you are knowingly giving the house to bachelors (no reason to discriminate against anyone), then be sure you add the names of the people and their identity reference as an addendum to the agreement. In the event of any additions because someone leaves or even otherwise, such things should only happen by prior intimation and with your express consent.
With families, do check on the number of family members though there cannot be a strict restriction on the number put into the contract. The very act of asking makes sure that your tenant gets the message.
There are times when the house may be taken for residential purposes and then gets used for office work or as a service apartment without your knowledge. So make sure you include restrictive clauses in the agreement on this aspect.
5) Tenant registration with Police
This is recommended in certain cities and is a good practice if you can do the registration without needing the tenant to tag along. Especially with renting out the property to students or strangers or in localities that are prone to disturbances, it is always advisable to do a tenant registration with the local police.
6) Have someone check on the tenant on a regular basis
If your agreement permits you to visit your tenant on a regular basis with prior intimation, please do that. It ensures discipline and adherence to the rules and regulations of the place. A cursory enquiry with neighbours or the security personnel or the association members would give you insights into whether your place is being well maintained and whether there are cordial relations between your tenants and the other occupants.
7) Maintain cordial relations with your tenant and make their stay memorable
If you are firm but very cordial with your tenant, the tenant is most likely to love their stay in your property. Be sure to check on them and enquire if things are fine and if they are facing any problems that are beyond their resolution in your property. Sometimes tenants are forced to put up with major inconveniences, repairs because the landlord is not reachable or does not respond despite followups. Such bad experiences can lead to deterioration of relationship with your tenant. Make sure you are making them comfortable during their stay in your property.
If you do not have the time to do this or live in a different city or country, then it is best to outsource this responsibility to a professional service provider who can be trusted. HomeShikari has been providing tenancy management services in all major cities for several years now. With the trust that comes with a name like TTK, you can be assured that you are in safe hands.