When I was 7 years old, my friend, a lad called Tim, was given a brand new Raleigh Grifter, not for his birthday or Christmas, just because he wanted one. He had the bike of my dreams.
Two weeks later on a balmy summer’s afternoon, with eyes like saucers I nervously approached young Tim and asked him if I could have a ride on it. He considered my request for what seemed like an age, then shook his head slowly and screwed up his face. No chance, he said.
32 years on, I met Tim again at his Riverside apartment in a smart area of Hull’s old town. Over 6 months his property had been transformed from chic and stylish to dustbin. His tenants had certainly known how to party, but not how to clean or pay rent. The result was a £450 cleaning bill, a bit more for redecoration and £1700 rent arrears.
Unfortunately, Tim hadn’t asked for any references because one of the tenants was the friend of a friend. It transpired that he had handed over the keys without any formal tenancy agreement and without the most basic of checks. It surprised me that someone who was capable of making a careful risk assessment at the age of 7, was not capable of the same thing aged 39.
The lesson here is not to take a chance with anyone who wishes to rent your home. Your property is probably your most valuable asset, so it is essential that every possible step is taken to assess the quality of prospective tenants before you commit to them. Don’t be afraid to say no – if you can’t be sure then don’t take a chance.
Since that date, I am pleased to report that Marlborough Estate Agency has arranged a succession of trouble-free tenancies for Tim by considering only carefully referenced, professional tenants.
If you know anybody who might benefit from a professional letting and / or property management service then please ask them to ring Marlborough Estate Agents. We’re here to help.