Even if you are incredibly busy, even if you feel you don’t have the resources or aren’t physically present, a background and credit check still shouldn’t be overlooked with a new renter.
Having a stranger stay in your Dubai property is admittedly a big risk to take. And while a face-to-face meeting can dispel some concerns, it takes a background and credit check to mitigate those risks. Therefore, protect your investment with seven screening steps before handing your apartment over to a new tenant.
While all seven steps may not be part of your normal Dubai leasing practices, Blueground advises doing your due diligence.
A background check will reveal a criminal record, eviction, or fraudulent history. A tenant credit check is also used to measure whether a renter can pay their bills. Since 2014, Al Etihad Credit Bureau has collected and pooled individual and business credit information from the Emirate’s utility companies, financial institutions, and government sources.
Through the Central Bank of Dubai, the credit bureau generates four types of reports:
- Short Reports
- Long Reports
- Long with Scores
- Scores only
If you obtain the prospective tenant’s permission for a background credit check, you as a property owner are allowed to look into monetary judgments, tardy payments, open and closed credit cards, and more.
We advise narrowing in on seven particular pieces of information:
1) Credit score
In Dubai, residents are given a credit score between 300 and 900. Be wary of credit scores below 600.
Current and former addresses
Some tenants may leave out their past addresses for convenience sake or with other intentions. Cross check and scrutinise as necessary.
Tenant applications for credit with lending institutions
If you see that multiple applications have been filed with lending institutions, this could be an indication of financial troubles.
Payment history for contracts
This is a quintessential indicator of their ability to pay your rent in its entirety and on time.
The number of overdue contracts
This is also a red flag for landlords. If there are several overdue contracts, you can already disqualify this candidate.
2) Criminal records
Some property owners are probably not aware, you can request a Certificate of Good Conduct from your tenant. Make it a part of your tenant screening process to request one of these proofs, furnished by the Dubai Police Department – just to be sure.
3) Medical history
Many expats in Dubai already have a medical report completed from their visas. So, although it may seem a tad extreme to request medical test results, many may not have a problem producing it on their visit.
4) Credit and background checks in their home country
If you’re entertaining interested tenants from abroad, you can also seek out a credit check from your tenant’s home country. Double check that such a report can be ordered and delivered online instead of by post before proceeding.
5) Social networks
Don’t underestimate the potential of a social media scan. These days, a quick Google search for a tenant’s name will reveal plenty of information pulling on Facebook profiles, tweets, LinkedIn CVs, among other news published online. Make sure the information online matches up with their profile as a tenant
6) Calling previous landlords
Calling a reference is one of the most common ways landlords get peace of mind before approving a tenant. Dial up a previous landlord and be sure to ask the right questions to read between an objective answer and an answer that may come with the intention of offloading a poor tenant.
7) Employment verification
Finally, a good indication of healthy cash flow and ability to make rent can be found by looking into a prospective tenant’s income. A rule of thumb among landlords is to multiply the apartment’s monthly rent by 40 and if it exceeds the tenant’s annual income, they should be able to make rent. In terms of proof of income, requesting their latest payslip or a signed contract with their income (in case of a new arrival) should suffice.
A Dubai tenant credit check and background check is worth the hassle to avoid any potential renter hazards. Ensure you know exactly who is staying in your space from the beginning as an eviction can be a costly and lengthy process. With a background check as a safety measure and a credit report as a financial barometer, you can be certain that you’re renting out your apartment to the best possible tenant.
For Dubai landlords and property owners who need a helping hand, Blueground furnishes and leases out fully-furnished apartments on your behalf while ensuring that rent is paid on time. What’s more? Blueground rents the apartments to vetted business executives for one month or longer and knows the right way around background checks.
Regional Manager Middle East, Blueground
Amine is the Regional Manager of Middle East operations. He has more than six years experience in finance, investment banking and alternative investments, including private equity with a special focus on TMT and Real Estate sectors in emerging markets. Amine earned an MBA from INSEAD, a Master degree in strategy from Essec Business School and a Master of engineering from Ensicaen Engineering School & Research Center.
Blueground is a leading hospitality-tech company that leases more than 300 properties in Dubai, helps you better understand the process of guaranteeing vetted, screened tenants. The company upgrades leased properties into best-in-class rentals, to rent on a medium and long-term stay basis to business professionals and individual travelers.