Landlords - particularly those who are new to letting property - should take care that they "get it right"when it comes to selecting tenants.

John Fitzsimons of suggested that it is a good idea for landlords to use the Tenant Check service offered by the National Landlords Association, as the £10 service for non-members could help "fill in any blanks"in information about the tenant.

In addition, he emphasised the importance of requesting references from prospective tenants' employers, as well as previous landlords.

He also recommended having information from organisations such as Landlord Action at hand in case any legal advice or assistance is needed in dealing with tenants.

The BBC reported this week that some landlords are having trouble collecting rent from unscrupulous tenants receiving Local Housing Allowance (LHA) benefits.

Under new LHA rules, tenants are responsible for paying their own rent, but some landlords say they lose out if they have an irresponsible tenant.

Written by Mark GarnerADNFCR-2002-ID-19270564-ADNFCR

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