Property owners looking to rent out their HMOs to students who use Pads for Students are all different. Some are happy to work on a “first come, first served” basis without giving it much thought beyond that. Others prefer to meet all prospective tenants to make sure they’re getting the right people who won’t prove problematic down the line. If you fall into the latter group, here are some tips to guide you in getting the right people.
Meet All Prospective Tenants
The first and most obvious measure to take is to meet all groups of tenants and vet them. These are students who don’t have much of a tenant history, references and so on, which is why it’s important to go with your gut and base your decision on other attributes. How does the group function together? What kind of vibe are you getting from them as a group or individually? Vetting them now can save potential problems later if one decides to move out or other problems arise in which they might need you to intervene.
Social Media Investigation
We used to frown on “Facebook Staking” as some call it, but employers do so for legitimate reasons. Those reasons also apply to you; there is no harm in you doing so as part of your vetting process. In most cases, the students will be fairly normal students. Look for red flags for reasons to refuse their application, or even green flags (things that will encourage positive feelings about them) will help you in your decision making. This is an extension of meeting them. Most people put on a front but with their social media accounts, you can see what sort of person they really are.
Teenager students aren’t going to have a large arsenal of references on which to draw. They’re also unlikely to include landlords or other property owners. But the references that they do offer you to look over will be former or current employers, trusted family friends, academic tutors and so on. While these people may not know what sort of tenant they will make, they can at the very least shed insights into their character. Academic references can at least indicate their commitment and likelihood of seeing out the academic year.
Don’t Forget Right to Rent
In all this personal vetting, remember that you now have a legal obligation to determine their right to remain in the UK. UK citizens and students from EU member states presently have an automatic right and can prove their residency right with their passport. International students who represent a growing body of the UK student population. They need to provide identification such as a passport and any information relevant to their right to live and study in the UK such as a student visa.