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  • Buy-to-Let

    Using social networks to vet, monitor, or track down tenants?

    Just seen a tweet on twitter that prompted this discussion.

    The tenant tweeted that they posted "Just been paid" on FaceBook and the landlord saw it and immediately got in touch asking for the tenant to pay rent arrears.

    Just wondering if anyone uses the likes of FaceBook and twitter to vet, monitor, or track down a tenant that has done a runner?

    Conversely, has a tenant ever commented on anything you have posted on a social network?


    Related discussion: Tenants starting to vet landlords?
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    Excerpt from HMO Landlady's blog on Property 118 about HMO viewings:

    It’s definitely been a week of no shows. Why are the people who answer the ads wasting my time and theirs? Why do they even bother to make an appointment ONLY HALF AN HOUR BEFORE and then not turn up? I just don’t get it, but therein lays one of the great mysteries of the HMO world.

    Perhaps twitter and FB could be used to remind prospective tenants about viewing appointments?

    Are any tribe members collecting tenants social network details such as their FB and twitter handles to use to communicate with them?
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    (28-10-2012 09:10 AM)vanessa warwick Wrote:  Just wondering if anyone uses the likes of FaceBook and twitter to vet, monitor, or track down a tenant that has done a runner?

    Reminds me of a story we covered at LRS not long ago.

    A teacher provided a letting agent with a fraudulent reference, told the landlord and then they searched for the name that was given on the letter but were unable to find it.
    A quick search on their Facebook soon discovered that the name on the letter was a mutual friend of their tenant on Facebook...!

    https://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/blo...y-teacher/
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    I don't have tenants. Yet) Also I don't have personal profiles in social networks, hence would not add tenants as my contacts.

    I would not like to track a tenant via social networks, but if it would be the easiest/only solution to get the rent, I would do it.

    If a tenant needs a reminder for a viewing, then... do I really need a tenant, who require babysitting? What a nightmare would be to extract rent from this person.
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    I share my investment experiences and things, I find useful, in my blog.
    We were trying to let out a student house a couple of years ago. David was negotiating viewings and one group had said they wanted the house but after around 2-3 weeks had still not paid a deposit. Then another group viewed, and paid a deposit within 24 hours.

    I picked up a tweet shortly afterwards from one of these students complaining that they had been hard done by by a landlord in our town (ie, us). Picking up the tweet was by chance. I responded (nicely), explained that another tenant had paid a deposit quickly and I offered to help with their continuing search.

    I didn't hear anything back ...
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    Jayne Owen @jayneowen

    Editor and Writer: Your Property Network magazine

    Investor: Mozaique Property, South & West Wales and South West England

    Occasional reviewer at The Property Bookshop (@Property_Books)

    Thanks Jayne.

    People sometimes forget how open the web is. (Unless you are in a closed/private group or not a member of FaceBook).

    I have seen landlords calling tenants "scum" etc. thinking they are just in the company of other landlords, but they forget that what they write can be seen by the entire world and will remain there in perpetuity ... unless they delete it.
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