When a prospective Tenant calls to register their details we confirm that they are not in receipt of benefits, over 21 years of age, if under 25 that a contract guarantor can be provided. There are many boxes that have to be "ticked" on our system before we can actually accept a registration. Our rejection rate at this stage is around one in eight.
The prospective Tenants opportunity to view the property is our opportunity to assess the prospective Tenant! Simple things like a cigarette butt flying out of the car window as it approaches the property (when the registration form states non smokers) and people who enter a property with wet or dirty shoes without removing them tell us an awful lot about the character of the prospective Tenant!
If a prospective Tenant decides to apply for a property then they must attend an application interview with a Property Manager. At the interview, the application form will be discussed at length and we require proof of I.D., bank statements (it's all very well confirming income but how is the money spent?), utility bills etc. Our experienced Property Managers are rather like Personnel Managers in that they usually have a good idea of how suitable the applicants would be for a tenancy within a few minutes of the interview!
We take many references including Current Employer, Previous Employer, Landlord, Previous Landlord and credit checks. To support a work reference (in terms of financial stability) we examine the last 3 months bank statements. People who earn a high salary can sometimes have a high level of financial commitment ( ex-marital payments, credit arrangements etc.) so we must be sure that the financial situation is appropriate. Credit Checks are important to ascertain that there is no ongoing problem that could present a risk.