[ecis2016.org] A background check is crucial for tenants as well as landlords, before entering into a rental agreement. We offer some simple suggestions on how this can be done and the things to check
A home owner who is looking to rent out his/her property, can either advertise the vacancy online or in newspapers or even approach a broker. Likewise, a prospective tenant can search for options online or even approach an agent or the landlord directly. Nevertheless, both parties need to do some personal homework, before finalising a deal.
You are reading: Tips to do a background check, for landlords and tenants
What you need to do, before renting a house
A background check is not only about security but should be done from the perspective of evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of renting.
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Landlords should mandatorily go for a police verification check. Applying for a rental property is a lot like a job interview and as tenant, you need to present yourself in a mature, financially responsible and trustworthy manner, says Meher Gupta, managing director, Contemporary Connect. “Similarly, the landlord, like any boss, should make sure that the tenant has the right credentials. So, a thorough background check should be done. From the tenant’s contact information and employment history, to proof of income, everything has to be taken care of. Credit reports are important documents, which are frequently ignored. This report can shed light on the tenant’s history, which includes total debt, monthly payments and payment history, which might indicate their behavior towards making payments,” explains Gupta.
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Besides police verification, landlords should also verify the job profile and regular income status of the tenants, adds Sahil Gupta, director, Gupta Realtors. A small family is always better, as they tend to keep the property in better shape, he says. It is equally important for the tenant to screen the landlord.
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The law treats the tenant and the landlord at par and under no circumstances, should the tenant feel that he is on the receiving end. “The tenant must verify that the landlord is the legal owner and entitled to let out the property, or receive rent,” advises Sahil Gupta. It is also the duty of the tenant to deduct TDS, if applicable and deposit it on behalf of the owner or else, you are liable to pay that separately from your own pocket, he adds.
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Why word-of-mouth feedback matters, while renting a property
It is also wise to perform a reference check through known sources or other easily available sources, before entering into a rental agreement. A tenant can do a background check, by interacting with the landlord’s neighbours. People who are already staying in a group housing society, for example, will know about the day-to-day facilities, maintenance, neighbours in the society and the about the landlord himself.
In today’s day and time, it may not be completely safe to just let out your property for rental to unknown people. Hence, as a landlord, you can take the informal channel route, like a reference from a friend or family. “It is important that the people whom you let into your property, are trustworthy. Being a landlord comes with a big responsibility along with the cheque. So, a thorough background check of the tenant, is crucial,” concludes Gupta.
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