Nothing is more important than getting the right tenants for your rental property – because the choice you make will have a profound impact on your peace of mind and finances.
Whenever we’re contacted by a landlord who’s been having problems at their property, there’s very often something that was missed or skipped before the tenancy started.
A typical story is that things started well, everyone got along, and the landlord was pleased with their choice of new tenants. Then, at some point, something went wrong, and the landlord was left frustrated, disillusioned and out of pocket.
So how can you tell if you’ll get respectful, responsible and reliable tenants before you hand over the keys? More than anything, it’s all about the setup, and this week we’ll take you through our tried and tested process, to avoid problem tenancies and create stable and long-term lettings.
The first step in creating the perfect letting is to minimise wasted viewings by checking that your property and whoever is enquiring about it are the right fit for each other.
Some of the factfinding we undertake before booking a viewing includes asking potential tenants about:
You might feel uncomfortable asking so many questions, or pushing further if an answer is vague, but we speak from experience when we say it removes so many unnecessary appointments. In fact, the best tenants love having their time and property search taken so seriously.
Never rent your property to someone you haven’t met.
Regardless of anyone’s urgent timescale, and even if they’re moving from abroad, a face-to-face viewing is a priceless insight into someone’s character and whether they actually like your property. Video viewings can be a useful first step for someone who can’t get there in person just yet, but don’t take your property off the market until you’ve personally shown them around.
Here are some things to look out for on viewings:
Finally, listen to your sixth sense. After carrying out thousands of viewings, we know how to spot the really good tenants. If we have any doubts, we keep looking until we find the perfect match.
Once you’ve found a tenant you’re happy with, don’t ignore the referencing process. No matter how great you feel about someone, it’s not the same as actually knowing that they can afford to rent your property and are financially stable.
Here’s our checklist of the references we take up and what we look for to identify the very best tenants.
Just as you’d do your research when choosing a letting agent, thorough referencing for every tenant is time and money well spent.
A detailed inventory signed by the landlord and tenant is not only your protection in the event of a dispute, it also shows respect for your tenants by giving them an accurate record of your property’s condition when they move in.
Remember: it’s a landlord’s responsibility to prove any fault on the part of the tenants. Without clear before-and-after evidence you’re likely to lose any dispute, so an inventory is a must-have for every tenancy.
Writing into your tenancy agreement that you’ll be carrying out mid-tenancy inspections shows that you’re serious about your property being looked after, and allows you or your agent to see that all is going well.
Things to consider around mid-tenancy inspections include:
What’s next for you?
Finding the very best tenants who are the perfect fit for your rental property is the special sauce in avoiding problem tenancies and creating stable lettings. It’s also our speciality!
If you’re a landlord in the Wilton or Salisbury area, we’d love to show you how we keep tenancies running smoothly at the rental properties we manage. Call us on 01722 580059or email us at email@example.com to see how we help our clients enjoy a profitable lettings business.
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