So you have multiple applicants for your property, great! On the surface this seems positive but you need to be aware that this can bring issues when choosing one of these applicants. The Equality Act 2010 can take a landlord to court for discrimination. A landlord must be wary of this and prtootect themselves from any sort of discrimination. To avoid this:
Plan a minimum qualification criteria so you can clearly think about what you are looking for in a tenant. Have this criteria in front of you during viewings and interviews so you can make a note. Remember to apply this criteria equally between all applicants. For this criteria think about:
Enquire about the applicants rental history and, if possible, request a reference from past landlords. An application with an impressive rental history will likely be a preferred choice.
Knowing a tenant’s income can give you peace of mind if they earn a significant amount more than the monthly rental price. This is another positive sign when choosing a successful applicant.
Job security is important when looking at applications especially in long term rentals. This is particularly important now due to the uncertain times the pandemic is creating for us all.
This will give you an idea of how well an applicant might manage their income but also show any County Court Judgements to their name which can be valuable information.
To help your best interests you might want tenants to provide a guarantor for their portion of the rent. This can save you from losing out when a tenant falls into arrears. Bear in mind tenants that might not have a UK homeowner can still get a guarantor from companies like Rent Guarantor.
If you are in a situation where multiple applicants meet your criteria, you need to treat the applications with fairness. To manage these applicants equally you could use these options:
First come, fist served
This might be the fairest way to sort multiple strong applications. Offer the property to the first tenant that showed interest, viewed and successfully applied for it. Where it is the most simplest method to sort applicants sometimes the most qualified applicant doesn’t get the rental.
As it is a big decision to pick who rents your property you might prefer to base your choice off the strength of an application. If one applicant has significantly higher income to the others then you may prefer to choose them. This is fine, but be sure to document and file why they are more qualified than the other applicants.
Your criteria can include multiple criterias but it can not discriminate between applicants. This is illegal, and the Equality Act 2010 protects tenants from this. If the tenant has any inkling that discrimination has occurred then you may be prosecuted. Discriminating against disabilities, sex, race, individuals on benefits, religion, sexual orientation, and age is illegal.This is why it is important to document any decision you make when choosing a suitable applicant for your property.
Disclaimer: Rent Guarantor is not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information shared in the above blog is an opinion based on personal experiences within the property rental sector, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice.