One in nine landlords now check prospective tenants’ social media accounts to try to assess how they may behave as renters, according to a mortgage lender.
Research for Foundation Home Loans suggests that 11 per cent of landlords now look at some permutation of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to find out about their would-be tenants.
The lender says that as one in seven landlords say they visit their properties once a month to meet with tenants and make any necessary repairs, a view on the characters living there is evidently important.
However, the research indicates social media ‘checking’ is still some way behind more traditional methods.
Just under a third of landlords choose to interview tenants first, while 34 per cent say the key factor is a personal reference.
“Buy to Let is a business, so it’s only natural that landlords would want to vet their potential tenants just as an employer would a potential employee. While Facebook and social media accounts may not be the best source of information if used in isolation, they can offer valuable insight when set against other checks such as personal references and credit checks” explains Jeff Knight, marketing director at Foundation Home Loans.
“For tenants hoping to secure a good property, it wouldn’t hurt to check their social media profile doesn’t reflect badly on them, or present them in a negative light” he adds.