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subsalesman
08-11-2009, 12:21 PM
Just wandering if there is a ball park figure of how long an average tenant will stay in a let. I am talking about the "joe average" 20 something, stable employment. How long to they tend to let for, under 12 months or do they tend to stay put for a couple of years or longer?

Thanks

mind the gap
08-11-2009, 14:55 PM
Just wandering if there is a ball park figure of how long an average tenant will stay in a let. I am talking about the "joe average" 20 something, stable employment. How long to they tend to let for, under 12 months or do they tend to stay put for a couple of years or longer?

Thanks
There will be a mathematical 'average' (i.e. a mean length of time - presumably something between six months and five years), but that will be meaningless in the context of any one tenant's intentions/behaviour.

A more useful and relevant question is perhaps : How can I ensure that my property is tenanted by decent human beings, with a minimum of damage, stress and void periods?

Snorkerz
08-11-2009, 15:37 PM
There will be a mathematical 'average' (i.e. a mean length of time - presumably something between six months and five years), but that will be meaningless in the context of any one tenant's intentions/behaviour.

A more useful and relevant question is perhaps : How can I ensure that my property is tenanted by decent human beings, with a minimum of damage, stress and void periods?

Okay MTG - I value your opinions... How can I ensure that my property is tenanted by decent human beings, with a minimum of damage, stress and void periods?

johnjw
08-11-2009, 16:59 PM
I think six months is too short a period to be viable. There are overheads like agents fees and/or advertising costs, plus inevitable small repairs/renovations for each new tenant. In addition you have a void period - you would be lucky to have a new tenant within a week of the previous one moving out. All this could very easily take 25% of your rent and maybe more.
In my experience, tenants usually stay for much longer periods. Apart from anything else, moving home is hardwork and stressful, so people need good reason to move. Moving every six months would be a nightmare!
You can make sure that your tenancies are at least one year by offering nothing less; ie. a one-year (or longer) fixed period.

tom999
08-11-2009, 17:12 PM
A tenant may prefer a longer fixed term (e.g. 12, 24+ months), however, from a LL's perspective, a 6 months initial fixed term is preferable (and minimises risk) if LL needs to gain possession from a bad tenant. If tenant is good, then simply let tenancy go periodic after initial 6 months, and continue on a month to month basis.

mind the gap
08-11-2009, 17:14 PM
Okay MTG - I value your opinions... How can I ensure that my property is tenanted by decent human beings, with a minimum of damage, stress and void periods?

I never said I knew the answer! (Ask TenantsLuvMe - s/he gets a feeling in his/her bones about these things, apparently...although, sadly, s/he has so far been unable/unwilling to reveal the secret to us).

Um. It will depend of course on whether you use an agent to find you your tenants (in which case, agent should do all the relevant checks), or whether you source them yourself. I prefer to do the latter, in which case:

Make sure the property looks its best when conducting viewings - even if this means bribing the current tenants.

Meet and chat to your tenants in person, for at least half an hour, before deciding whether you think they are 'right' for your property.

When arranging to meet them, ask them to bring proof of identity. If students, ask them to bring something which proves they are on the course they say they are on.

Before you meet them, email them a copy of the text of the tenancy agreement on the clear understanding that it is not an offer of a contract, then ask them on meeting whether they have read it and are happy with it. Sort out issues such as pets, smoking, etc., at this point. Be clear about what you will and won't accept and don't waver.

Be prepared to wait for the right person/people to come along - don't rush into an unsuitable letting for fear of a void period. It will end in tears. For this reason you may need to factor in a short void period in between lettings.

Stay on good terms with the tenants so that when it comes to finding some more, they will be able to view the property and you will avoid a void!

Poppy's advice : Be professional (and expect your Ts to be).

Don't let to anyone who looks like Gary Glitter or Jeremy Clarkson.

I'm sure others will have lots more suggestions!

Lawcruncher
08-11-2009, 19:39 PM
I doubt there is any way of guaranteeing good tenants. I have never let property, but I have worked in an office. I have been surprised how highly intelligent lawyers can be duped by interviewees. On one occasion when a complete incompetent had been taken on I ventured to ask how it could have happened and was informed that she interviewed well and was assured that if I had interviewed her I would have taken her on. This led me to conclude that a good rule of thumb would be to reject all candidates who interview well.

mind the gap
08-11-2009, 19:49 PM
I doubt there is any way of guaranteeing good tenants. I have never let property, but I have worked in an office. I have been surprised how highly intelligent lawyers can be duped by interviewees. On one occasion when a complete incompetent had been taken on I ventured to ask how it could have happened and was informed that she interviewed well and was assured that if I had interviewed her I would have taken her on. This led me to conclude that a good rule of thumb would be to reject all candidates who interview well.

Having participated in interviews for teaching jobs in the days before the candidates were required (as they now are), to be observed teaching a lesson on the day of interview, I can understand that viewpoint. Some of the worst appointments were indeed people who had interviewed really well.

However, given that it is clearly a little unpractical to observe a prospective tenant 'live' in the property for a few hours or days to see how he behaves, I suppose face-to-face interviews are the LL's best hope of distinguishing the axe-wielding maniacs from the Trappist monks in the queue of potential tenants.

Ericthelobster
08-11-2009, 22:42 PM
I have been surprised how highly intelligent lawyers can be duped by interviewees. Not quite the same thing but I remember at a firm I used to work at about 10 years ago, a woman was interviewed for a job, came over very well, and ended up being offered it.

This was for an office job, in which using a computer for Microsoft Word, email, internet etc was a "given" and represented most of the daily workload. I suppose these days everyone just assumes that people under a certain age just know all this stuff: but unfortunately nobody actually asked her the all-important question. As it was her first job after a long spell of maternity leave, it might not have been a bad idea...

So, first day at her new job she sits down at her desk and looks at the computer... then picks up the mouse by its cable and says "Um... what does this do?"

Jaws dropped all round the office - you could virtually hear the boss thinking "Oh.... my.... God....!"

(On the plus side the new employee fortunately proved to be a fast learner!)

P.Pilcher
08-11-2009, 22:58 PM
Similarly, I remember during my teaching oeriod that we had a student who was really excellent. Eventually she got her teaching qualification and coincidentally we had a vacancy. She applied and we thus put the head under severe pressure to appoint her. He did and we didn't half regret it. She was terrible! Fortunately after a few months she developed a personal problem which eventually ended in her resignatation but you can never tell!

P.P.