The best solution for all is to find a tenant who likes your property and the area in which it is situated.
In general tenants who stay longer at a property because they like it are more likely to look after the property and ensure they do not get into financial arrears.
Here are some tips on finding suitable tenants for your property.
You may be using a managing agent who will have ready access to a supply of tenants. If you have chosen to manage the property yourself though, there are still letting agents who can advertise the property for a small fee.
You could put up a sign in the local shop window or library noticeboard or you may chose to advertise in the local paper. Try to market the property in a good light, whilst being honest. Including the rental amount and size of property in the advert can save a lot of wasted time in arranging viewings for unsuitable tenants.
Think about your target market and adjust your advertising to suit, for example you may wish to advertise on university property lists, on hospital noticeboards or using social media sites.
Be realistic about the rental amount
Look at other properties in the area to compare similar properties. If you are charging a much higher rent you are unlikely to get a lot of interest. If your rent is more because you are providing added benefits such as heating costs, council tax, or broadband, make sure this is clear in the advertising or you are unlikely to receive many calls.
Arrange a viewing
Make sure the property is presented in its best light before a viewing. This may mean mowing the lawn or a lick of paint in worn areas. Ensure the place looks and smells clean. Point out the benefits to the area such as proximity to shops or schools or peacefulness. Answer any questions honestly. The prospective tenant may have different views than you on the matter in any case, for example when asked about a solid fuel heating system which you may feel is hard work, the tenant may be pleased because they may have easy access to fuel availability. It is better for the tenant to be fully informed prior to signing any tenancy agreement as they are less likely to be disappointed with something later down the line.
Don’t be afraid to be flexible about the rent
Losing a few months worth of rent (due to an empty let) can be more expensive than lowering your rent by £30 a month. Don’t be scared to lower your asking price, especially if you are sure the tenants will look after the property; be competitive.
Consider allowing pets
The Dogs Trust praises the virtues of lets with pets. They claim that not only will permitting pets increase the demand for your property but you’ll also attract a better class of tenant. They further suggest that tenants with pets stay longer because they know how difficult it is to find an understanding landlord.
Consider renting to Local Housing Authority tenants
Making your property available on Local Authority waiting lists will ensure access to a large number of potential tenants. Not all tenants on the list will be in receipt of local housing allowance (housing benefit) and there are some circumstances where you can receive the rental payments direct to you ensuring regular payment of rent.
Keep the tenant you have
If you treat your tenants well, they are more likely to respect you, treat the property with care and stick around longer. Taking care of repairs quickly, and including fittings and items which make the property desirable to live in foster happy tenants. A good relationship between landlord and tenant is essential to long term satisfaction. Why not try these simple tips to help build the perfect relationship?
- In furnished lets don’t buy cheap furniture that you know will only last for a year. It will soon look decrepit
- Update the property throughout the tenancy. Why wait until they leave before buying replacement fittings?
- Leave your tenants alone. They have the right to quiet enjoyment and don’t need you knocking on the door every other week
- Respect their time. Don't expect tenants to wait in during the day for trades-people. It isn’t their job, it’s yours
Take a look at the maintaining a good relationship page for more information on keeping your tenants.