Can I keep a horse in the kitchen? 75% of landlords choose tenants on gut instinct.

09/11/2012 By Mark Long

While irregular income or a failed credit check may be a turn-off for many private landlords, research from BVA BDRC has revealed a bad attitude or bizarre pet can be an equal problem for a would be tenant.

BVA BDRC’s Landlords Panel survey has revealed the top ways in which landlords vet new tenants. If you’re looking for a new home, dress smart and be open when answering questions. Enthusiasm about the property is also a major bonus. On top of this, proof of income, references and your employment history could all help landlords choose you as the ideal tenant.

The study also focussed on the major turn offs for landlords. The factors which raised the most alarm bells were having bad or no references, a low, irregular or non-existent income and failing a credit check. Despite this, the tenant’s own character was still very important, with almost a fifth of landlords citing a lack of manners or simply the look of the tenant as causes for worry. Almost three quarters of landlords said they would trust their gut instinct when deciding on new tenants.

Pets also played a part in the landlord’s relationship with the tenants. Only one in ten were always happy to allow a dog to take up residence. Many worried that the pooch might damage the property, annoy the neighbours or leave a lingering smell.

The survey showed financial security and a pleasant character to be important factors in a landlord’s decision making process, but the research also investigated the stranger requests landlords get regarding pets. From cats and chickens to the more problematic pigs, snakes and iguanas, landlords get requests to let in most of the animal kingdom as room-mates. While a tenant’s tarantula might shock a squeamish landlord, “can I keep my horse in the kitchen?” is a request which is presumably too impractical for anyone’s consideration.