It is possible that you are reading this article because you have had bad tenants. Tenants who don’t pay you or trash your property? Maybe you have professional tenants who know how to live off the landlord? Is very unpleasant and unfortunately quite painful.
Being a landlord myself, I understand who you would wish to have in your properties. Ideally, professional tenants who will look after the property, pay their rent on time every time and look after your property as if it was their own. Would you like to have those tenants in your properties?
You may think that it would be great to have tenants like that but do those tenants really exist? The answer to this is yes, they do exist. The real question is how do you find them?
First of all, before looking for tenants – ask yourself, is the property in good repair and suitable condition for quality occupiers? Would you personally live in the property you are letting? If you were a tenant, what additional repairs would you make and what additional fittings would you put in?
Although you want to keep everything nice and simple, there as a minimum standard for the rented properties. Everything need to be compliant with current rules and regulations as well as be safe accommodation for the tenants and their family.
After taking care of the above now it is the time to look for your tenants.
The very 1st step is – you need to advertise your property on the online portals and conduct viewings or sign up with letting agents who can do this for you therefore making your life easier. By the way, you don’t have to sign up for full management, you can get just a tenant finder service. With this you should expect good quality pictures taken by them, viewings and also 6 month assured shorthold tenancy (AST) done for you, as well as a deposit registered.
The next step is, you qualify the tenants. How do you do that?
Step 1. Check payment affordability
Request their employment contract, the latest three payslips and their bank statements for at least 3 months (preferable 6 months). Having this will enable you to see if tenants are able to afford to pay the rent and if they have steady employment to keep all the expenses covered.
I would encourage you not only to take a look at their employment contract and take for granted their employment but to call the employer and ask if the potential tenant is a good person and if they have permanent employment with the company and if not – how long their contract of temporary employment is for.
You can also suggest to your potential tenants that they take out insurance in case if they can’t pay the rent due to sickness or any other unforeseen reason. Many tenants don’t know this insurance exists.
Step 2. References from previous landlords
Most of the time landlords like yourself take a references from the current landlord, who, most of the time, will say that tenant is the best person in the world. Most of the time that may be true but how do you know that current landlord isn’t saying this because the tenant is a pain in the neck and she/he wants to get rid of them.
To make sure you let the right tenants in to your property, you need to check references from the previous landlords (one or two before current one). The reason for this if the potential tenants are not good – previous landlords will tell you this where the current landlord may not – as they want to have those problematic tenants out of their property.
Step 3. Have a one-to-one with the tenants
Have a friendly chat with the potential tenants, and find out why are they moving from the current property. Why are they moving to your area and why have they chosen your property over the others available to them?
Not all tenants are bad. Sometimes landlords can be an issue. Take all information into consideration and draw your own conclusions.
After all your questions have been answered and you are satisfied with the tenants – you need to get a deposit from the tenant and sign an AST (assured shorthold tenancy) which could be for 6 or 12 months.
After you have taken the deposit – you need to put it into a deposit protection scheme where it will be held until the end of the tenancy. After that period expires and if you are happy with the tenants – you need to re-register the deposit for another 6 or 12 months.
If you or the tenants wish to terminate the tenancy – the deposit will have to be returned, subject to the state of the property.
I can tell you that there are exceptionally good people out there, looking to rent your property. They are hard working people who will pay you on time and because they work so hard, they know the value of what they have. And that includes your house – so they will look after it properly.
Do you think the process of getting the right tenants is easy? It is not and it could be quite time consuming but there are tenants who tick all the above boxes, tenants who are also looking for a good and supportive landlord like you.
Would you agree that you can find the perfect tenants for your property? I’m very certain that you can. Will it be challenging? Yes, it will be. The whole process is not easy but by having right mind-set and work ethic as well as good standards you can make the job of letting your property easier for you as a landlord and for your tenants too.
And in case you have been trying to find good tenants for a while and are having difficulties – give us a call on 0121 249 0783 to have a friendly chat and to see what we can do to help. Having two departments (letting & management, and sales) we can give you personalised support and all the required knowledge to ease your letting experience.
Have a great letting journey [Symbol]