Your property is one of the most valuable assets you own, and you won't want to hand over the keys to just anyone. Most applicants are honest and genuine, but there are a few checks and securities you might want to consider to make sure you understand who your tenant is and that they are able to fulfil the terms of the tenancy before signing a tenancy.
Reference checks are very common and most landlords will take some information from applicants such as who will live in the property and what their income is. You might also want to check how they have conducted themselves with their last/ previous landlord/s.
There are lots of places that offer tenants reference checking, including the Private Rented Service Newcastle, but it is something can choose to do yourself.
Sometimes landlord ask tenants to provide additional security such as a Guarantor, it is important that a Guarantor understands what they are agreeing to and that a landlord has a strong document to reply on should they need to take action to recover arrears from the Guarantor.
If you want to take a holding deposit from a tenant while you carry out your reference checks it is important that you make sure that the tenants know when this money would be returned or retained by the landlord, to avoid confusion we always recommend having something in writing.