The first thing to remember when looking for a good tenant is that you have to attract them, not the other way around. If you are offering a rental that is priced poorly or not in line with what other property owners have on offer in the area, you probably will not attract knowledgeable and responsible tenants.
Advertising a rental is going to take more than a brief blurb in the newspaper. Currently, the large majority of prospective renters look online. To give your property the most exposure and maximise your chances for letting we’ve suggested a few alternatives from a traditional estate agent that you may want to consider:
• Gumtree is an online marketing resource that you can use free. Properties in cities like Manchester and London do well on Gumtree.
• Sites like Facebook and Twitter are not just for teenagers and people who like online games. Post your listing on your social networking profiles, you will be surprised how often a friend of a friend ends up renting the property.
• Try an online estate agent. Unlike traditional estate agent they do not charge commission on on average will list your property on all the main property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla for around £75.
• Having said you must list online, it is still worth while advertising in the local circulars and shop windows as these are still proven methods.
Get to Know Your Property
A responsible and thus good tenant is going to ask you about the rental before they even think about living there. They are going to want hard facts and you should have them available. If you do not, another property owner will. Know everything you can about the property and local services. It helps to know where the nearest things like grocery stores and petrol stations are, so you can appear friendly and helpful. Know when the rubbish is picked up, how the local schools are and the closest parks. Tell them what has recently been updated, what you are planning to fix and what utilities they are responsible for.
Knowing a Good Tenant When You See One
Of course, you want to get to know your tenant as much as they want to know your property. Ask them what they do for a living, how long they have been employed in their recent position, if they have pets and if they have children. Do a background check for credit and rental history. Find out if the tenant uses housing benefits, so you can know who to contact if the rent is missed and whether you can be insured against such an event. You will also be able to tell by a tenant’s attitude if he or she is a good match for your property. You may have a family with small children in one apartment so you want to rent to similar tenants. Whatever the case may be, watch for potential conflicts of interest.
Getting Everything Prepared
Get a deposit once a tenant agrees to sign the lease. No one wants to lose money, so only serious tenants will put down a deposit. Make payment arrangements for the initial rents and deposits due and for future rent payments. Do not give the tenant the key until all paperwork is signed and the lease includes information about all fees for which the tenant is responsible.
Do not be afraid to call your new tenant in the first days of the move so that you can see if they require assistance or have questions. This sets up a good base for friendly and professional interactions between yourself and your tenant. Make sure they have all of your contact information and vice versa. A good tenant will be communicative and appreciate your help at this point in your relationship. Nonetheless, keep a spare key and be sure to insure the property.
Andrew Potter works for Online Estate Agent, My Online Estate Agent. My Online Estate Agent offer a very competitively priced tenant finder service which will advertise your property on Rightmove and many more sites. Click on this link http://www.myonlineestateagent.com/rightmove/ for more details.