Why landlords turn to Facebook to check potential tenants
In some recent research carried out by Foundation Home Loans, with 1000 buy to let landlords, over one in ten landlords check Facebook and other social media accounts to screen tenants before letting them live in their property.
With the growing use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram constantly growing this may not seem at all surprising to you and while it may seem more than necessary, it reveals valuable insight into how they would be as tenants. It’s therefore a route taken by 11% of landlords.
So what information do landlords gather from social media? This could include:
- Job and career history
Given one in seven (14%) of landlords say they visit their properties once a month to meet with tenants and make any necessary repairs, a view on the persons they are renting their property to is extremely important.
Other methods landlords use to screen their tenants included:
- Interviewing them was the preference for 29% of landlords surveyed
- Personal references are chosen by 34% as a happy medium
Other statistics reported by Foundation Home Loans includes:
- 49% are 55+, 40% between 35 and 54 and 11% under 34 years old
- 66% male & 34% female
- 28% own in a different region to where they live (72% own buy to lets in the same region they reside)
- Almost a third of landlords have been so for 6-10 years
- 25% became landlords by accident i.e. marriage/inheritance
- 60% have another full time job, around 20% have a part time job and 20% are full time landlords
- 37& plan to pass properties to their children
- 16% plan to increase portfolio in the next 12 months, whereas 58% expect it to stay the same
- Average rental yields are between 6 and 8% depending upon geographical region
- Individual flats and terraced houses are the most popular property types
Buy to let is still relatively strong despite the increased strains put on landlords including second property Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax and the the lowering of mortgage interest tax relief.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage.