Dodgy tenants are a fact of life for most landlords. The sad truth is that when you make the decision to rent out your property, you run the risk of letting it to a Walter White, or a Lindsay Lohan. But while meth moguls and stoner starlets tend to be on the conspicuous side, there is another kind of tenant who all too often flies under the radar. I’m talking about your Fred Wests and Peter Sutcliffes. Here is our foolproof guide to spotting murderous would-be tenants.
They’re really into their garden space
Sure, they could just be an amateur horticulturist. But how do their roses bloom so brightly? What exactly are they using to fertilise that soil? And why oh why do they toil away re-laying their patio in the middle of the night? We’re sorry to have to tell you this, but your new tenant could be more Myra Hindley than Monty Don.
They’ve sound-proofed the property
“How considerate!” You might say. “They don’t want their loud music keeping the neighbours awake.” And sure, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that the new renter is simply an aspiring DJ, or maybe something of a party animal. Or, they don’t want anybody to hear the screams.
They showed particular interest in strange parts of the property
A spacious living room with plenty of light is important to most flat-hunters, as is a decent kitchen and an en suite bathroom. But if the person who shows up to the viewing is more fascinated by the roominess of the utility cupboard (big enough to keep at least one fully grown adult captive!) or the cellar (which they probably already envision as their own ‘Hostel’-style torture chamber) then it might be wise to say no to their tenancy application.
Questions such as “where’s the nearest tube station?” and “how much is council tax?” are par for the course. But when the person seeking to move into your property is asking whether the place is built on an ancient burial ground, or if anybody has ever died on the premises… Well, they’re probably looking to raise some hell. Literally.