Everybody has heard the horror stories about nightmare tenants and landlords need to do everything possible to avoid it happening to them. Finding the right tenant for your property who you can trust is essential, but it isn’t always easy, whether you are an experienced landlord or someone thinking, should I let my property online for the first time.
Here we share some practical tips and advice to help landlords choose their tenants in a way that is fair and efficient.
One of the first things you should do is consider what you know about your property and how it will fit in to the local rental market. Things such as how many bedrooms it has, its location, property type, size, furnishings and so on will play a big part in how you present and market your rental.
A 1- or 2-bedroom flat or apartment in a city for example might be more likely to be rented to young professionals, whilst a 3-bedroom house in a town could be most fitting to a family.
Get to know and understand the local rental market and take all these things into consideration as it can help you to tailor your listings and even your property.
Get Your Property Ready
A huge part of finding the right tenants is appealing to the right type of people and that is down to your property. If the home is dirty, run-down and in need of repairs then you might struggle to find a tenant, have to accept a lower rental income or attract less desirable tenants. Therefore, it is best to ensure that the home is in top condition to attract good renters who will take care of it.
There’s a very fine line between achieving a good rental price for your property and it being left vacant because it is being marketed too high because whilst the property is empty there is no money coming in which is why pricing it right is vital.
Do your research and look for similar rentals in your area to see how much they are priced at, and price up or down based on your findings.
Your Tenant Pool
It is common for some landlords to place restrictions on their listing, such as not suitable for students or dog owners etc. When you market your property, be sure not to be so closed minded that you narrow down the pool too much and miss out on some great potential tenants.
It can be difficult to sort through and narrow down applications for viewings so it can be a good idea to come up with some important questions that will determine early on if they are a potential fit to help rule out those who aren’t and ensure that you don’t waste each other’s time. This can include things like;
How many people will be living at the property?
What is your annual income?
Do you have past landlord or employer references?
You must have a comprehensive screening process in place to carry out the necessary checks. It is against the law to discriminate anyone due to their religion, sexuality, race or gender so this process must be the same for all applicants.
Reference Checks – For those who have rented previously, they must be able to provide a reference. If they haven’t then you can ask them for a character reference instead.
Right to Rent Checks – Before agreeing on a tenancy, you will need to check that any prospective tenants over the 18 have the right to live in the UK.
Credit Checks – Performing a credit check will help to highlight any outstanding debts or loans that the potential tenant may have as well as any late or missed payments.
Meet the Tenants
It can be a good idea to meet your tenants in person before you commit to a tenancy agreement. This will give you an opportunity to see if they come across as reliable, honest and mature to determine if they are in fact a good fit.