Most would agree that social media is a mixed blessing – it connects us with family and friends across the world but well publicised ‘downsides’ mean that we must all use it with caution.
There are many reasons that a landlord will want to use social to rent – the most obvious one is a saving of agent’s fees. It may also be a question of timing, you can upload some basic info from home and hey presto – your property is on the market with no need to meet agents on site. Some may also find the ‘under the radar’ approach helpful if they don’t want to declare profits or want to keep the letting away from family members.
Tenants also (rightly) use social media to find a property. Most because it’s a convenient way to find a place to live but some may have a poor credit rating, bad references from a previous landlord or perhaps their income multiples don’t add up. Equally it may just be as simple as wanting to avoid tenant fees.
The trouble is, letting is a complex legal process, both for landlord and tenant and there are many things that can go wrong. For example, a tenant should be confident that their deposit will be lodged in a scheme, that safety checks have been carried out, a professional inventory will protect both parties, the agreement will be valid and the property will be maintained.
Landlords should be wary of tenants who may have poor credit or have been evicted from previous properties.
A good agent will cross every t and dot every i to make as certain as possible that landlord, tenant and property are a good match.
And what’s more, any agent worth his salt will also use social media to open the property up to as many prospective tenants as possible. But they will also scratch below the surface when a tenant is found.