If you are a landlord looking to rent out a property in a large city, there are a wide variety of different types of tenants to fill your property. University cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee have a significant number of overseas students looking for accommodation which keeps the rental market strong.
However with overseas tenants there are a number of extra points you should be aware of before you hand over a lease, so follow Miles Gilham from Glenham Property’s checklist to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Make sure the potential tenant has a UK based guarantor
It is difficult to credit check someone from outside the UK, therefore if you can’t get the information you need we recommend that you ask the tenant for a UK based guarantor who can be credit checked and provide references. This will provide a fallback position for you should the tenant not pay the rent.
Make sure that you receive up to 6 months rent in advance
However it is often difficult for an overseas tenant to have a UK guarantor, therefore it is relatively common for landlords to ask for 6 months worth of rent in advance to minimise the risk of the tenant leaving without paying their rent. This would cover the initial legal minimum lease period under a Short Assured Tenancy.
Take out rent guarantee
Rent guarantee is a form of insurance that guarantees you your rental income if there is an issue with the tenant not making a payment or falling behind. Cover cost is relatively low and generally works on 6 and 12 month policies meaning piece of mind that you will always receive your rent should the tenant for whatever reason stop paying.
If the tenant is a student ensure they have a work/student visa in place and that the dates correspond with the lease
You should ensure that all tenants have a legal right to be in the UK and you should obtain copies of their passport and visa where applicable.
The Immigration Act 2014 brought in new legislation regarding tenants and will put an onus on landlords to ensure that all overseas applicants have a right to stay in the UK and large penalties will be applied for non-compliance. The Act will come into force during 2015.
If they are working make sure they have a valid contract of employment covering the period of time the lease would cover
It is important to ensure that any employment contracts cover the lease period. Many contracts nowadays are short fixed term contracts which may or may not be renewed. If this is the case and the contract is for a shorter period than the initial lease period you may find that the tenant no longer has employment but you are unable to serve notice due to the lease term.
Thank you to Miles Gilham from Glenham Property for this guest article. For more information about Glenham Property’s services and to see how they can help you, call 0131 557 5101 or visit www.glenhamproperty.co.uk.