How to find suitable tenants – that pay on time every month.

Finding the right tenants is so important for a landlord. Ultimately you want to trust the people that are living in your investment. The last thing you want are disputes with tenants, not receiving rent or damages to your property. According to Property Investor Today, “The most common causes for tenant disputes are delayed rent (43%), damage to property (41%), cleanliness (33%), disputes over bills or deposits (10%), pets (9%) and sub-letting (7%)” 

If you’ve spent a lot of time, effort and money to get your home up to a high standard to be let, ideally you’ll want tenants to keep it that way.  On average, data from LV=Gl revealed the average landlord spends over £3,000 a year on general maintenance. Landlords spend the most money replacing/repairing flooring (£322), white goods (£298), other items (£256), cleaning at the end of a tenancy (£178) and removing forgotten items (£149). You could end up making a loss if there are numerous damages beyond the general wear and tear. 

For many landlords, renting a property is vital for pension income, an additional salary or to cover other living costs. You’ll also ideally want to have tenants that you know will pay you each month, on time and won’t mess you around.

If you do find that your rental income isn’t secure, you can guarantee your rent with the Howsy Protect plan

What tenants do you want? 

There are various ways to find tenants. Sometimes people look to family and friends to rent out properties and it’s ideal if you know you can rely on them to look after your place. Yet there isn’t always that option to find someone you know and trust, so you’re left seeking out tenants. 

Consider the type of tenants you want. Do you want tenants on a short term let? Are you going travelling and want to let your property out for a short period of time. Do you want tenants that are in it for the long haul and want a property to really make their home. Would you rather have:

  • Professionals and want to rent out per room?
  • A family
  • Students
  • A couple

This can then help you gauge where to advertise your property. 

How to market your property

Get your property online

In order to attract tenants, utilise websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market and Facebook marketplace to advertise your property. Look at having a premium listing on RightMove to help you gain more potential renters. 

Take decent photos

Ensure your property is well photographed and the property is looking at its best before you take the images. Declutter your home and let some natural light through. It can be difficult for tenants to look past the clutter to imagine themselves living in that home. Also, de-personalise your home. Take out personal items in the bedroom and bathroom and clean up dirty dishes in the kitchen, store photos and any ornaments or childrens toys. 

Although you can take images on your smartphone, the images don’t always do your property justice, particularly in small spaces such as a study or a bathroom. It’s worth investing in some professional photography to help take attractive photos. A rental property listing with good quality images will be let 70% faster. For further tips, discover our blog on using photography to market your property.

360 virtual tours

Having a virtual tour can give potential tenants a great insight into what your property is like and can encourage them to get in touch for a viewing. During the Coronavirus pandemic, virtual tours have been really valuable in showcasing a property. This has enabled landlords to still let their property. 

How to screen tenants

Once you’ve had interest in your property, it’s a good idea to screen your potential tenants and carry out some background checks. 

  • Character assessment – Try and meet your tenants in person and go with your gut instinct. Speak to them and get to know them and this will help you gauge what they could be like as tenants. If you can’t meet, perhaps get a character reference. 
  • Landlord reference – Ask their current landlord if they’re reliable and pay rent on time. 
  • Employment reference –  gain further information on whether they will be able to afford to rent the property too. You could ask for bank statements or other evidence for proof of income. Alternatively, it may be worth asking if they have a guarantor to fall back on if they’re unable to pay their rent at any point. 
  • Do a credit check 
  • Do they have pets? Is there anything that could be a deal breaker?
  • Are they smokers? 

Finding tenants can be time consuming. If you do want help finding tenants, Howsy can look after the whole end to end process. From viewings to photography and advertising your property, discover our ‘Rent it Faster (Pay Later)’ plan to help accelerate the letting process. Once we’ve found tenants, our dedicated concierge team will fully screen them and carry out reference checks. Speak to our friendly team for more information.