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With house prices rising again, mortgage interest rates going up and rental income struggling to cover the investment mortgage and property maintenance costs, many landlords are wondering whether they should sell up and invest their money elsewhere.

Over the coming weeks we will be offering some handy tips and tricks on how to maximize your investment return as well as provide a level of protection if mortgage interest rates go up or house prices drop.


If your investment property has been empty for a while and the next mortgage payment is looming then some landlords might be tempted to take the first tenants that offer to rent their property. This may not be a wise move though as experience shows that it is always better to have a property empty than have it let to tenants who aren’t paying their rent and won’t leave!

Before choosing tenants it is vitally important to get as much background information as possible and then make a business decision as to whether to rent to them or not.

By asking a few simple questions you should be able to identify those tenants that have a reason to rent your property and eliminate those who are simply desperate to find any landlord that will accept them.

Ask the tenants why they want to live in your property and try and establish whether they are familiar with the local area or not. Most tenants usually have strong views on where they want to live and why.

Find out whether the tenants work (or are on housing benefit) and establish whether their income or benefit will cover the rent. Ask whether the tenants have an adverse credit history and try and establish the reasons for this.

First impressions are very important. If you are uncomfortable with the answers given or you have any doubts then don’t rent to them. If you decide to proceed then you should thoroughly follow up all of their references. Personally contact their employer, previous landlord and take character references. An on-line credit check can also be undertaken at a minimal cost.

Avoid letting to someone with poor references for the sake of a quick rental return. A negligent tenant can cost the landlord thousands of pounds in lost rent and repairs.

· To discuss this article further - contact Mark at mlettings on 01793 752157 or visit www.mlettings.com.

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