Two categories of people often find themselves having to undertake tenant referencing. In the first category, we have landlords. And in the second category, we have the agents who manage houses on behalf of landlords. Now one question we encounter frequently from these people is one as to how they can make these tenant checks more effective. This is a question they pose out of appreciation for the risks of renting or leasing properties without checking tenants. The risks range from financial loss to perpetual stress from difficult tenants. It is appreciated that the only way to avoid such things is by underlining effective tenant referencing. But a question then arises, as to how the referencing process can be made more effective.
In that regard, we come to learn that in order to make tenant referencing more effective, one needs to.
1. Be ready to spend money on the process: anecdotal evidence suggests that the reference process tends to be more effective when carried out with the help of professionals. Of course, engaging the professionals means spending money. But there is justification for such expenditure. The justification is in the fact that failure to spend (the typically modest sums of money) on this process can result in major losses later on.
2. Use multiple referencing strategies: this ensures that one has all bases covered. It is possible for one reference strategy to miss on an important issue. But if you use multiple referencing strategies, you end up with a pyramid: where what is missed by one referencing method is done by another one. It is possible, for instance, to have a person who has no criminal record, but who nonetheless has criminal tendencies. Now if you rely on criminal history checks exclusively, you can miss out on the latter aspect. But if you back up the criminal history checks with other referencing methods (for instance asking for references from former landlords), the chances of getting hints on the criminal tendencies are hiked.
3. Work with reliable referencing services: not all professional referencing service providers are reliable. Some are reliable, where others others are not so reliable. If you are relying on a referencing agency your results will, of course, be as good as the workmanship of agency you choose to work with. This makes it necessary for you to ensure that you only work with reliable referencing agencies.
4. Devote adequate time to the referencing process: the tenant checking process is one that should not be hurried, if it is to be effective. Regardless of whether you are undertaking the referencing on a DIY basis or working with an agency, you should devote adequate time to the process. Otherwise you could miss out on important hints (this being a process where the results typically come in the form of 'hints' as opposed to clear-cut issues).
5. Avoid dismissing obvious red flags: if your tenant checks reveal some red flags, but you choose to ignore such red flags, the process losses meaning. You could as well have opted not to do it. Remember, the objective of the whole tenant checking process is (specifically) to identify such red flags. Once you see some, you should immediately start recondidering the decision to get into a contract contract with the tenant being referenced. In other words, you need to let your decision (on whether or not to get into a contract agreement) be influenced by the results of the tenant referencing process. Otherwise it does not make sense to undertake the referencing process.