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Tips for letting? How to vet and avoid problem tenants

  • 13-01-2022 9:23pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,052 ✭✭✭ theguzman

    I have decided to let out my house starting next month, Rent prices continue to skyrocket where the house is located, I listed the house on a Facebook group and have already been inundated with enquiries.

    This will be my second time renting the house and it came out of a two year letting to a single elderly gent who subsequently retired and moved away to his own house in his home town, he came highly recommended to me by a friend and he never missed a payment, his job was paying it for him so it was guaranteed money. He even had a cleaner on a weekly basis until covid struck but due to his age and deteriorating health the cleaner was stopped for fear of her infecting him with covid.

    I kept the entire deposit for some minor breakages and it would have cost more than the depost to fully clean the house after but I did most of it myself over the space of a month as I kept the house as my own quarantine pad. His company had no issues with non return of the deposit after.

    Fast forward into 2022 and I am ready to rent the house out again. Houses in this commuter belt town are as rare as hens teeth and as the landlord I have the upperhand. Rents have increased hugely since and I had my previous tenant on a discount as I actually reached out to him due to the guarantee of his rent payment. I have seen alot of other landlords get roasted with delinquent tenants failing to meet rent due to Covid.

    I am hoping to rent to a professional couple in their 30's, ideally childless (less wear and tear), no pets either and non-smokers. I have had a lot of dreamers contact me, obvious young couples who couldn't pay the rent required, facebook gives me alot of insight into the type of persona of person I'd be dealing with.

    I am going to look for rent references from the previous landlord or two, what they work at (giving an idea of ability to pay). Also I'll charge rent weekly and not monthly as the monthly method delivers less rent overall. I am planning to ask for 4 weeks rent & a cleaning deposit of 2 weeks more fully refundable provided the house is returned clean and in the shame position it was received. Cleaning my own house last time was a soul destroying exercise and only for the medical condition, age and otherwise good behaviour of the tenant, I'd have gone postal on them if a young couple did this with no excuse.

    What should I watch out for to avoid HAP tenants? Obviously I can't refuse them outright, I am not a charity and my house is furnished to a high quality with alot of new and good quality items inside. I'll be removing as much of these as possible.

    I am a good landlord and dealt with every problem the previous tenant had like a broken shower, mowed the grass, even brought him groceries in the early days of the pandemic.

    Unfortunately tenants like my previous one are rare in terms of financial security.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,256 ✭✭✭ Caranica

    I'd steer clear of advertising in Facebook groups for starters. The ones I've seen have had more dodgy members than not.

    Use DAFT/ (cost is minimal) and take enquiries by email only. You can tell a lot from emails. Use the name and/or email address to check out all social media platforms and Google.

    Beware previous landlord references, easy to fake. Cross reference with rtb register where possible.

    Asking what they work at is in danger of discrimination on employment status so be careful there. Instead ask people to tell you about themselves. Also put ban on pets (and I'd add no smokers) on ad

    Shortlist from emails and meet a few people.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,532 ✭✭✭ FishOnABike

    How long is it since the house was last let? Rents may have increased significantly in the area but you may be limited in the increase you can apply to your previous rent if the property is in a RPZ.

    Use the online RPZ calculator to workout the maximum rent you can charge :

    Check and ensure you are compliant with current tenancy legislation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 77 ✭✭ WTF...

    A very important point.

    If the property is in an RPZ then the rent cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, even if its a new tenancy. There is an exception to this rule if no tenancy existed in the property during the two years immediately prior to this current tenancy beginning.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    OP I think you are about to get your first taste of why landlords are selling up at the moment :)

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 2,923 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Raichu

    It’s completely out of order. You can’t just call around sight unseen when renting their house so they get it out of their system beforehand? The nerve.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭ embraer170

    I 100% agree with you but I think plenty others would just be happy to get the place.

    I have never rented in Ireland after my students days, but I get the feelings there's a disgraceful attitude towards tenants these days. I rented in a few other European countries over the past decade and never had the same impression.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,052 ✭✭✭ theguzman

    I spent over 40 hours cleaning it to restore the house back to a fit condition, or is it okay in your opinion to give a house back filthy after receiving it perfectly clean? I spent an entire day alone on the oven and hob and most landlords would have chucked the oven, I didn't have the luxury of that. I also got a lady in for 2 pieces of days costing me over €200 just for cleaning. In my former tenants case there was extenuating circumstances due to his medical problems and the fact that on a pre-covid inspection the house was spotless due to the efforts of his housekeeper, covid stopped her coming in for his health sake and things quickly nosedived. If I got my house back in a similar condition from an able bodied younger person I would be absolutely livid, but according to you I illegally kept the depost, but hey screw big mr evil wealthy landlord and its okay to treat someones else property like crap because the market is causing price increase, welcome to capitalism 1-0-1.

  • Registered Users Posts: 464 ✭✭ Smouse156

    Typical landlord exaggeration. A day cleaning the oven my ass! Or “they damaged” the worthless furniture is another common scam to try swipe the deposit (1980s bullet proof couch worth max €5). Most rental houses I’ve seen didn’t have €20 worth of furniture in the house. All ancient furniture picked up for free on done deal. This entitlement to tenants deposits needs to stop! It’s not your money!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,728 ✭✭✭ 3DataModem

    It's not about the "evil" landlords, it's about the landlords who don't know the basics of deposit retention reasons. You cannot claim your own time. And why DF would anyone spend a day cleaning an oven unless it is an AGA or something.

  • Registered Users Posts: 287 ✭✭ Jmc25

    Unfortunately yes that's where we are alright. People are so desperate they would put up with it.

    Personally I feel I handed over way too much personal data to letting agents/landlords just to view a few places but if I didn't I'd be seriously limiting the amount of places I could even view, in an already constrained market. It was a compromise I didn't like making but had no choice.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 2,923 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Raichu

    I remember a landlord of ours, who decided we needed to leave within 48hrs (we didn’t know it was illegal at the time but anyway)

    so we packed up and cleaned the gaff top to bottom but we did NOT get a chance to clean the oven (which we hardly used and was fcuking filthy anyway) or sweep a tiny pile of dust from the kitchen.

    apparently both of these cost the landlord €150 for a pro cleaner to resolve. Well, let me tell you if I didn’t lose my shite with him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    I had to clean an oven in a relatives house a few months ago. Jesus its hard work.

    I would gladly pay professionals €80 to clean it.

    Same with a house clean. Why would a landlord do it themselves when they can just pay someone €200 to do it and get half back from the taxman.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,109 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005

    Maybe they don't have the €200 to spend on a cleaner because the taxman takes half the rent regardless of what their outgoings are, plenty of landlord's don't meet the mortgage due to taxes even with the high rents. Even €100 is a lot for people and having a asset doesn't that they have money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,896 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves

    Because it costs a hell of a lot more than 200 euro. Last tenant I had stopped paying rent after they got notice to leave. I removed two wheelie bins of small rubbish. I took a trailer of rubbish out of the place in total. I had to repair a broken door jamb and fill several holes in walls. Spend two days cleaning mould off one bedroom that tenants used to permanently live in. Had to repaint two bedrooms and Kitchen living area, even though tenant had only been in the house a little with two years( they had been painted on the new before they moved in). Front door had to be replaced after alleged break in.

    Slava Ukrainii

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    That there is a problem with the law. You need to be able to chase someone for money they owe you or for damages to your property.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,702 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010

    Op, unless you have some emotional attachment to the house, sell it. No one will thank you for being a landlord and the more you try to limit your risk, the more crazy tenants will abuse you. So prices are good, sell the house, leaving renting to the corporates, they can afford to take the hit and because they are faceless, they don’t care what the crazies think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭ Dwaegon

    Search for their name in the RTB determinations archive. If they've been brought up to the RTB for overholding, non-payment of rent, anti-social behaviour etc, you should find it there!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,896 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves

    I have both land and houses. I would lean towards land. However it's a lot harder to leverage a land purchase. Banks are a lot more fussy about accounts and earning. After buying land you still need to invest in stock and maybe in facilities. Any decent sort of land purchase is 500 k+ for the first one to have economy of scale and stock investment after that. Return is 12-18 months + after that.

    A house purchase could have you getting a return 60 days after purchase.

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭ Claw Hammer

    A landlord can insist on a guarantor, which surprisingly few do. The landlord can insist the guarantor is a person of substance and the landlord can go straight to court if there is a problem with not getting rent or there is damage and make the guarantor pay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,203 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    I agree seeking well paid rofessionals demands landlord professionalism but deposit size isn't a signal of a cowboy landlord in my opinion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,203 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    Is this a rule or convention? Is this set out in the RTB rules? I find Agas need very little cleaning as there is far less glass than a electric oven

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,896 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves

    the inside of Aga's self clean. They are cast iorn and if anything gets burnt or sticks to it it burns off over time and you can scrape or brush it off

    Slava Ukrainii