The million-dollar question to which every landlord would love the answer and the golden ticket to hassle free renting out of a property. But how do you ensure you get the tenants you want?
Whether you are a professional landlord or simply fell into the private rental property sector, everybody wants the best tenants, those that will stay for 5 years, pay the rent on time every time, only call to wish you a happy birthday and repaint before they leave. But, of course, in reality, the best thing every landlord can do is minimise their exposure and understand the risks of letting your property to the first person that comes along.
If you get it wrong, it can take at least 6 months to evict bad tenants with the average cost in legal bills and lost rent costing £4,341.
Additionally, not carrying out the correct property inventory checks and check in reports or not letting to the right type of tenant are common mistakes. We will try to give you the low down below to help you reduce the chance of having a rental nightmare.
How to Find Good Tenants:
Step 1: Attracting the Right Tenants
The key to having a risk-free rental experience is to make sure your property will attract the right tenant. Those properties we see where the landlords have really taken care of it, repainted when needed, had it cleaned before each tenancy and got rid of all the brick-a-brac really do get the best tenants who treat properties with the respect they deserve.
Step 2: A Trustworthy Letting Agent
Make sure you use a letting agent you trust, one that has your rental property’s best interests at heart and not just the commission they will earn if they let it ASAP.
Step 3: Referencing Your Tenants
Do references and credit checks and speak to the previous landlord. Anyone can send a quick ‘they were fine’ email, but does this really give you the true story? Pick up the phone, make a quick call and potentially save yourself thousands in eviction costs because you just let to a serial fraudster who gave his 8 year-old child as a referee! Referencing can cost as little as £22 so is well worth the investment.
Step 4: The Right Rental Amount
Let to the right number of people at the right price. If you have a small 1 bedroom flat do you really want 4 sharers in there? If you make the choice to do that, you have to understand the additional wear that will happen and be prepared to have to make good again when they leave. They also won’t respect the property if they feel they are being exploited. Use tools such as Zoopla, Open Rent and Rightmove to find comparison properties to get the rent right.
Step 5: Up-to-date Tenancy Agreement
Always use the best, most up-to-date tenancy agreement with the right clauses that protect you. Follow the legal steps you need to take at the start to ensure that if you need to you can take back possession of your property. Indeed, have you issued a section 21, a ‘How to rent’ guide? Have you protected the deposit and advised the tenant and so on? All of these things are legal requirements and what good tenants will expect you to do.
Step 6: Signing off The Property Inventory
Make sure that your new tenants sign off on the property inventory at the start of the tenancy. This avoids any arguments when it comes to the deposit release. Always get an independent, professional inventory company to produce the inventory report to ensure your investment is fully protected.
Step 7: Follow Your Instinct
The ultimate advice is to trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t and do you really want to enter in to 6 months of very expensive wrangling to get a bad tenant out of your property when things start to go wrong?