Where to find good tenants21/06/21
Even if you have the most attractive property with everyone clamouring to rent it, finding good tenants can be a minefield and that is where a good letting agent is worth their weight in gold.
Finding new tenants isn’t just a case of placing an ad online, there are quite a lot of avenues to head down in the process. Put simply, it’s not as straightforward as you might at first think.
How to find good tenants
To attract good reliable tenants is a skill that you might not possess. People can be very charming and convincing, they may even have a story to tell that persuades you they will be the right sort of tenant for your property. It’s only when it is too late that you really will have a problem on your hands. Of course, you’ll never really know what a person is like until they’ve picked up the keys and lived in the property for a while but there are certain safeguards you can undertake.
Finding good tenants is all about doing the research. You need to do background checks and other quite mundane things in order to be fairly sure that they will pay rent on time and look after your property and any furnishings that are included in their tenancy.
There’s one major check you need to make and that’s the right to rent. Basically you must determine that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England. This may involve contacting the Home Office if the tenant is a Commonwealth citizen for example then they may still be able to rent in the UK without the requisite paperwork.
Before the start of a new tenancy, you must ensure that all tenants are aged 18 and over even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement, or there is no actual tenancy agreement. You need to check all documentation and make and keep records of this and the dates you made checks. The reason this is absolutely imperative is that a landlord can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for renting their property to someone who is not allowed to stay in England.
You’ll also want to check their credit history so that you know if the prospective tenant is able to pay the rent. This will include any County Court Judgements they might have against them and that tell you they’re a probable risk.
References are also something else you’ll need to research. References from previous landlords attesting to your prospective tenant’s good behaviour etc will add extra assurance and you’ll also want details of income and employment so you can judge whether the person is able to afford to rent your property.
How to find good tenants
Have a target tenant
You need to match your tenant with a property. Are you renting out a family home next to good schools or student accommodation? You need to establish who you are marketing to.
Marketing is key
Your marketing strategy is how to attract those tenants you have identified, so ensure that all the details are accurate and clear before you place them on a site Rightmove or Zoopla, or even in your local free newspaper.
Check out the competition
The local market is something you need to keep an eye on to ensure you’re renting at the right price.
Prepare for property viewings
Good tenants will want to know all about the property, everything from recycling and bin collection, to local transport, schools, and council tax bands. Maybe you could put together a folder of relevant information?
Your prospective tenants want someone they feel they can approach but who is also professional and won’t be constantly intruding in their lives once they’ve secured the tenancy. Be professional at all times.
Why using a letting agent might be the best option
As you can see, letting a property isn’t as straightforward as you might first think and there are definitely good reasons for securing the services of a letting agent. They will be able to understand your needs as well as the legal aspects of renting property. They’ll do all the background checks that are required, as well as be there on your behalf for all the viewings, even those at short notice. A local letting agent is also probably the savviest option if you live a distance away from the properties you are renting, as they will know everything about the neighbourhood, including changes to the area, new developments and other things that might persuade your ideal tenant that this is the perfect place for them.