Greater London Properties (GLP), which covers Soho, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and King’s Cross, has an in-house referencing team whose job includes vetting the social media accounts of applicants as well as their references and employment. They have had cases of potential tenants using headed paper from made-up universities or non-existent companies.
Rob Hill, director of GLP, said a key concern is tenants claiming to be looking for a flat to live in but then using it for short-term lets. “If a flat costs, say, £500 a week, they could make another £500 a week on top of that using Airbnb,” he said. “That is our main concern, but we are also looking out for people advertising for flatmates because we want everyone who lives in a property to have a contract.”
Checking social media, said Rob, also allows agents to “build up a picture” of what a prospective tenant is like as a person. “We want to know they are likely to look after the property,” he said. “If you see lots of house party pictures where things are smashed and ruined it is something you might want to show to the landlord.”
Rob would also be concerned by indications of “inappropriate behaviour”, which would include excessive swearing and images of gratuitous nudity, because of concerns the tenants might upset neighbours.
If you’d like to talk to Greater London Properties about renting or selling your property, give them a call on 0207 113 1066.