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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Find tenants who owe money

Finding ex tenants is not easy for busy landlords, this article has been written to help landlords and show them some options should their tenant abscond.

Due to the recent recession more people have been attracted to the rental market as a way to move on from the family home or move to a larger house.

This is obviously great news for landlords but how does a land lord go about finding ex tenants?

More renters mean more rent arrears which are a problem. Tracing ex tenants is becoming big business but what can landlords do to help protect them from this inevitable part of the rental market.

Most landlords collect information about potential tenants before handing over the keys, this information is important when it comes to finding ex tenants. A landlord should obtain at least the following information from potential tenants so in the event of a tenant leaving with rent arrears there is information available to perform a tenant trace.
This information includes
  • Their full name and proof of this.
  • Date of birth
  • Previous addresses
  • Family members addresses
  • Middle name
  • Partners name
  • Work details
  • Mobile telephone numbers
These details can be important for a trace agent to perform a successful tenant trace on your absconded tenant. You can use companies to perform tenant verification checks on the individual, this helps to clarify the tenants past and gives an opportunity to search for CCJS and insolvency information, and it also lets you have access to plenty of information that can be stored away just in case it is required at a later date to perform a tenant trace.

Tracing ex tenants is a straightforward process if you have the correct databases to do so. Obviously they would only have recently left the landlords property so the Electoral Roll will not be useful to ascertain their current whereabouts and to be honest there are not going to be many opportunities to tenant trace via the internet, unless you get lucky with an ex tenant who blogs or uses Facebook and reveals their whereabouts this way, because of this it is recommended that landlords use a professional tenant trace service to locate absconded tenants.

Finding an ex tenant is a frustrating time because you have to leave it long enough for systems and databases to be updated so that the ex tenant can be traced to a new address, this time frame is around two months, you should use this time to try and find them locally, things to consider are if they have children they will have not moved far. If you have the ex tenants work details you can contact them via work and suggest that an attachment of earnings may have to be a solution to the problem.

If an ex tenant owes you money and you cannot settle things in any other way, you may decide to issue a claim through the county court. People also issue claims for other reasons, including:
• bad workmanship;
• damage to their property;
• road traffic accidents;
• personal injury;
• goods not supplied; and
• faulty goods

County courts deal with all these types of claim. You will sometimes hear people talk about the 'small claims court'. What they really mean is the special procedure for handling smaller claims in a county court.

Going to court should always be a last resort and you must have a current address for the absconded tenant so it is imperative that you have used a tenant tracing service to obtain this.
Landlords can never stop tenants absconding but can take measures to safeguard against them doing so. The key is obtaining key information before you give them the keys to your property.

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