Pimp Or Potential Tenant – It’s All In The Detail
Monday, 4 February, 2013
Getting the right tenant is essential and a responsibility that is surprisingly relaxed and often put to the bottom of the pile in property companies who see it as an unnecessary expense.
Commission hungry letting agents are desperate to get their applicants into properties as quickly as possible. Compare this attitude with a company who takes a longer term view and incentivises their team to not only find a tenant but one who will pass referencing and potentially stay in a property long term and look after it.
It’s these estate agents who will maintain long term relationships with their Landlords and expand as a result of this.
Annu Britten heads up the referencing team at Greater London Properties, an independent agency based in Soho, West End London, one of the most interesting areas when it comes to finding a ‘good’ tenant.
“We get applicants from all walks of life and ultimately we want to provide them, as well as our clients, with the best service possible. We work with some extremely large portfolio property companies and putting a bad tenant into one of their flats could be very damaging for our relationship but could also put them in a difficult position, especially if they are answering to shareholders. We have to handle particularly sensitive information about peoples personal lives, all very confidential, however it’s imperative in order to get to the bottom of their financials and personal situation.
On the few occasions, we’ve discovered illegal activity it has to be handled extremely carefully in order to avoid any confrontation or upset, it is incredible what goes on, especially in this area of London”.
Good referencing requires common sense and detail, a simple initiate such as googling a telephone number has led Ms Britten to discover illegal escort services and with further research Pimp run establishments and drug dealing, thus saving the landlord from a potentially very costly (and sometimes embarrassing) exercise of having to evict their tenant.
With the amount of students in the area, a lump sum being taken up front is extremely common in the West End however it is still imperative each individual is not only credit checked but Universities are contacted. On more than one occasion, GLP has been provided with a University acceptance letter which, when researched is a school that doesn’t even exist.
Rob Hill, CEO of GLP started the business 10 years ago above the Anne Summers in Wardour St.
“At the time it was just me doing the viewings, referencing and move ins, it was a great way to learn the business inside out plus make the mistakes in order to improve and make the company what it is today. We can’t emphasis enough to all our Landlords the time we spend researching each potential tenant before we even put their offer forward. As well as using an external agency, we have an in house team headed up by Annu who started working with me about 8 years ago.
Together we worked out the most efficient process to attract the best possible tenants for our clients. It’s a big selling point for all new landlords especially as most of our properties are within 1 mile of the West End therefore attracting a diverse range of people. Our method does take longer and it is time consuming for our part but the outcome is always worth the extra efforts and expense”.
So Landlords, don’t underestimate the importance of an estate agency that boast a thorough referencing department, in the long run it could save you a huge amount of time, money and sleepless nights!