If you want to let your property successfully and with the minimum amount of fuss, then finding good tenants is key. Whether you’re wondering what the signs of good tenants are or are confused about how to find good tenants, this guide is here to help.
Here are eight of our top professional tips for attracting good tenants to your rental property. Find the right tenants for your property, watch the rental income roll in and scout around for your next rental property!
8 simple steps to finding good tenants
1. Know your target market
As any decent marketing consultant will tell you, knowing exactly who you’re targeting is crucial when you have a product or service to sell. The same applies to letting a property, so you match what you’re offering to their needs.
As well as seeking people with the characteristics of a good tenant, you also want to pin down the demographic you’re aiming at. Are you offering a student bedsit, a flat-share for twenty-somethings, or seeking a young family or retired couple?
Attracting the right target market from the outset will help you find the best tenants for your property.
2. Be prepared
Get ready to market your property. Presenting your property in the best light possible will attract the right tenants. Complete any odd jobs like tidying or touching up the paintwork before Stanfords come in to take our professional set of photographs. We always try to take these photographs in good daylight. We recommend working with a lettings agency, such as Stanfords, so you can benefit from the very best marketing for your property.
A clear, tidy picture of each room plus the exterior are minimums – miss out a location and prospective tenants might wonder what you have to hide. Any notable features or unique selling points may also be worthy of their own image.
3. Do your homework
Another way of getting ready is to stake out the competition. Who is offering what to let, and at what cost? Can you pick up any insider tips from how they’re doing things? You might also like to set a realistic rent by checking out what others are charging. Setting the rent at the right price will ensure that you only attract those tenants who can afford it.
It’s also useful at this point to familiarise yourself with the property properly. This way you can pass this information onto your letting agent. Key facts for us to know include the council tax band, parking facilities, access to any shared areas and if there are any rules and regulations. The latter can particularly apply to leasehold properties like flats.
4. Marketing, marketing, marketing
So the entire point of establishing your target market is so you can position your apartment, house or bungalow accordingly. Online is largely where it’s at, mainly via sites and apps such as RightMove and Zoopla but local letting agents, close to the property, will be very well placed to handle local tenants and viewings for you.
But don’t forget the power of the ‘To Let’ sign – it can drum up business by attracting the eye of passers-by. They may then carry the message to your ideal tenants by word of mouth.
When using a letting agent, you should also benefit from the property being on their own site, and the property details displayed in the window of their office.
5. Sign up with a letting agent
If you’re not sure what to look for when it comes to good tenant qualities, or don’t have the time to work out how to list on RightMove, then why not consider signing up with a local letting agent?
A decent lettings agency will know exactly what to look for in a good tenant, and which checks should be run to protect everyone legally. Including you, the landlord. They will also know where to find good tenants and how to market the property to that precise demographic.
Using a letting agent can save you so much time and legwork. They can conduct viewings, answer queries from potential tenants and complete all the paperwork. If you don’t let the property then they don’t earn a fee, so it’s also in their best interests to get it off the market as quickly as possible.
So how do you choose a good letting agent? Ideally, you want an agency who will take great pictures and provide an irresistible property write-up to complement those. Check out how they will approach the marketing of your house or flat. Will it be listed on the biggest apps and sites, like Zoopla and RightMove? How about their own website and the office window?
An agent can also give you their advice on suitability whenever a potential tenant shows an interest in the property. With the benefit of experience, they’ll know just what to look for – as well as what to avoid.
6. Request references
Getting references from suitable sources – such as a previous landlord – can be a great way to gauge whether a tenant is right for you and your property.
A key step in how to get good tenants is to request references. As a rule of thumb, the best letting agencies will run a number of checks. These include verification of employment, a credit check and an affordability test, as well as a reference from a former landlord or their agent.
7. Check the paperwork is in order
If you use a good letting agent, you can skip this step as this will be taken care of on your behalf. Otherwise, you will need to make sure all the documentation is in ship-shape and legally binding.
Is the tenancy agreement in line with the latest and most relevant legislation? Would this contract bind both parties legally in case of future disputes?
Once they’ve signed on the dotted line, you or your agent should also set up a standing order with the tenant’s bank to ensure you receive rent payments in full and on time. An agent can also hand over the keys on your behalf.
8. Be a good landlord
Finding a good landlord is what it’s all about from the tenant’s side of things, so plan how you can address any issues that crop up. Again, a letting agency can help here, as they can field questions from tenants for you.
Think about what you’ll do if there is a repair required or an emergency crops up. It’s wise to have a list of contractors you could use at the ready. Alternatively, you could leave this to your letting agent if it’s all part of the service they provide. Keep your tenants sweet and they’ll be more likely to return the favour by keeping your property in good shape and paying the rent on time.
To find out more about what a great letting agent can do for you as a landlord, why not check out what Stanfords of southeast London have to offer?