How To Find Good Tenants
What exactly is a good tenant, and how do you find one for your property? This helpful guide explains how to find ideal tenants for your rental home!
Table of contents
All of us have heard about ‘horror tenants’, and some of us may have even had them.
There are TV shows made about them, support groups on social media for 'victims' of terrible tenants, and everybody in the property community has had first or second hand experience.
You may even look back to your student days and wince in horror at the plaster you pulled off the wall with your band posters and dodgy DIY.
What's in this guide?
So in this guide, we answer three important questions about how to find good tenants for your property:
- What exactly is an ideal tenant?
- How do you make sure your tenants are what you’re looking for?
- Where can you find model tenants?
What exactly is a good tenant?
Overall a model tenant has these qualities:
- Is timely with rent payments
- Observes the conditions of the tenancy agreement
- Avoids any issues with your neighbours or other renters
- Is careful not to do more damage to your property than expected wear and tear
- Is prompt and kind when communicating
Lets take a closer look
Pays rent on time
Rent should (ideally) be paid on time. Making on-time rent payments is one of a tenant's most significant responsibilities since the landlord-tenant relationship is based on regular rent payments in return for a place to live! Rent arrears can be very expensive for a landlord because they probably rely on the rent to cover the mortgage on the rented property. To ensure that rent is always paid on time, your landlord's property management team or software should enable you to plan monthly direct debit or standing order payments that are deducted straight from your bank account.
Is respectful of your property and appliances
In addition to ensuring the return of a security deposit, taking pride in a rental home can also help tenants get a positive landlord recommendation for their future moves. Normal wear and tear is to be anticipated, however it is best to completely avoid any tenant-caused property damage. An ideal tenant will maintain the property's cleanliness to prevent pest infestation or property damage. If it’s outlined in the tenancy agreement, a landlord can take the cost of pest control or repairs from the tenant's security deposit if they fail to maintain a clean residence.
Respectful of you and others
Respect is one of the best indicators of whether someone will be a good renter! We cannot stress this enough! A good renter not only pays their rent and other obligations on time, but they will let you know if something requires your attention if they respect you as a landlord. Asking their previous landlords whether and how they maintained the property can help you determine whether or not they are courteous renters. Did they harm anything? Neighbours made any complaints?
Disrespectful tenants are more likely to try to take advantage of you by paying the rent late, fabricating justifications for damages, or simply abandoning the property.
Has a good credit rating and steady income
It’s important to know that as an ideal landlord, it’s important to have empathy regarding redundancies and covid related job losses A good renter needs a consistent source of income in order to pay rent on time. By requesting proof of their pay, you can confirm their income. Additionally, you should ultimately pick a renter who has good credit. You know they will pay their rent on time since they show all evidence of being financially responsible if they have a good credit score!
Check their credit history when they are applying to discover whether they have a history of making their payments on time. Tenant screening and credit checks can be done with lettings agents or with various sites.
Is easy to communicate with
For a landlord, even a minor leak can develop into a significant, pricey issue. When they become aware of any maintenance problems, the ideal renter will let their landlord know ASAP. Tenants should be able to quickly flag maintenance requests online, which landlords can easily follow and monitor until the problem is fixed.
Life happens! Landlords will be more forgiving if tenants are able to provide a reasonable notice that they won't be able to pay the rent on time AND a good excuse. Of course only some breathing room while you gather the funds. Good communication is key to resolving issues such as maintenance requests or late payments.
How do you make sure your tenants are good tenants?
Thorough referencing: both character and financial
Finding a new renter may take a lot of time, which is one of the most unpleasant elements, especially if you're not on top of things right away. It wouldn't be altogether unexpected if I had very little confidence in mankind if you asked me to calculate how much time is spent on average by all the tyre kickers, unsuitable candidates, and outright blaggers who apply for each tenancy. It may be unbelievably tiresome, especially if you are overrun with candidates (which is becoming more and more common as the rental market grows).
One of the biggest errors landlords make when processing tenancy applications is allocating a viewing time to each applicant. That is not necessary. Of course, you are free to squander a tonne of time if you so want. But keep in mind that your time is valuable. It's essential to minimise time loss by separating the wheat from the chaff. Not just for your own mental health, but also because you'll probably find renters that are of higher calibre. You should only arrange viewings for qualified candidates.
Typically, this entails finding a tenant that suits the lifestyle of your property, is working, has a reasonable salary, can secure a guarantor, and can offer references. Expert landlords often choose one of two methods to separate the wheat from the chaff: Contact each candidate to do a phone interview.
For lack of a better term, I'll use "interview," although it doesn't need to be official; just a casual conversation would do. This rental application form is available for download; you may call the landlord and answer the questions there. Given how much can be inferred about a person's character from their phone manner, this is likely the most revealing technique.
Speak to previous landlords
It’s very wise for landlords to use a tenants’ rental history report to learn more about an applicant's past renting behaviour. Ask your potential renter to provide a list of their prior addresses as well as the phone numbers of each landlord.
Check legal regulations that apply to you and/or get in touch with letting agents / property managers to confirm what you can ask, as you might wish to get certain information from a tenant's prior landlords, such as: Was the applicant's rent paid on time each month? Did they maintain the building in a decent condition? Do the neighbours make any complaints about them? Can you count on this tenant to communicate well?
Use a guarantor to ensure income
A guarantor is someone that signs as your backup if you fail to pay your rent. In that case, the landlord or property management company will ask the guarantor to cover the cost. There are various situations where you'll need one, such as: You have a poor credit history. If you're a student or it's your first time renting. You don't have a job or proof of financial stability. You've come from abroad and don't have a financial history in the UK. Tenants missing rent payments is one of the biggest worries for landlords. Many still have mortgages to pay on their property, so they can't cover their monthly expenses without the rental income. So, if your situation matches any of the examples given above, there's a good chance that you'll be asked to provide a guarantor.
Practice what you preach - offer a well-presented, clean, modern property
Nobody wants to live in a sad poop bucket, that much is obvious. Therefore, it's crucial to check that the space is tidy before holding viewings. Likewise, don't ignore the garden (common mistake). As long as the price is reasonable, the chances of finding a well-kept house are really favourable. Always keep in mind that it is pointless to schedule viewings if you are attempting to beat a dead horse since you will be wasting everyone's and your own time. Before taking pictures for advertising and showing potential renters around, you might want to think about "dressing" your property.
You don't need to be an interior designer to decorate a space by placing a rug on the floor and adding a few pillows on the sofa. Additionally, research suggests that a furnished and dressed property attracts 75% more attention than an unfurnished house, despite the additional work (and potential price) required (even if the property is going to be eventually let as unfurnished).
When it’s looking good. Market your property well.
Good photos, a floor plan, clear description with useful information about local amenities, property info, schools, nightlife Write a detailed and helpful property listing Whether you're advertising in a store window or on Rightmove, your idea needs to be compelling and simple to understand. Not enough people will see your advertisement. It's a beginning, but it won't lead to the correct kinds of inquiries. One of the most effective marketing techniques for attracting inquiries is high-quality photography. If they see photographs, potential tenants are far more inclined to inquire. One of the greatest mistakes landlords make with their advertisements is being lazy and not include nearly enough details. That not only lowers the number of inquiries, but it also invites a lot of time wastage. Your advertisement needs to be informative and detailed.
Give pertinent information and emphasise features:
- Links to public transportation
- Local schools and colleges
- Crime rates, if they are low
- Front/back garden parking
- Size and number of bedrooms
- Bathrooms: how many
- Property condition
- Nearby facilities/attractions
- Include furniture, if any, such as a couch, tables, beds, etc.
Mention any appliances that the home comes with. List everything that will be useful, but keep it readable and avoid becoming excessive. Where do you find good tenants? Use online letting agent / property management services to locate tenants for you This, in my opinion, is the greatest, most economical, and successful method of locating renters, especially HMO tenants. In fact, if you're looking for renters for commercial buildings, you can even find them.
Spare room.com has thousands of people looking for house shares
SpareRoom assists landlords in swiftly locating excellent renters. They've got a big selection of high-quality renters; approximately 1.5 million people use them each month.
Even though it's far from the most successful strategy, it's astonishing how beneficial timely tweets and Facebook status updates can be. What could possibly go wrong, even if it doesn't work? Nowadays, the majority of individuals use social media, whether it be Facebook or Twitter. These social networking sites, and Facebook in particular, are fantastic because they provide you a quick and simple method to interact with all of your local friends and family.
Does anyone you know have an interest? The problem is that you can never tell who is looking to rent a house or who knows someone who is. It's always beneficial to utilise Facebook to share information with your local peers because it's so quick and simple to accomplish.
Word of mouth - ask your neighbours and friends in the community
This may seem strange, yet it works quite well. This is how I've occasionally located tenants with success. You will still reference and background check the potential tenants so you’re at no more risk than any other method. I didn't do anything more than ask the neighbours (of the BTL property, not my house, but you could ask both sets of neighbours) if they knew of someone acceptable who might be interesting in renting the space next to them. This strategy may pleasantly surprise you! It is yet another of those techniques that is so quick and simple to use that it is pointless to not at least attempt.
We hope this guide has been useful in covering everything you need to know, whether you're a guarantor, landlord, or tenant looking to rent.
At Oasis, we let and manage your property for you so you can avoid the hassle. Find out more on what we offer or get in touch with our team today. Keeping up-to-date with changes in legislation and property can be tasking as a property owner or tenant!
At Oasis Living, we use tech and automation to make the letting process more efficient and less hassle for all involved. We offer premium property management, FAST tenant-find service and even free maintenance call out as a standard. Contact one of our property letting experts today to find out more. Alternatively, read more about our mission to improve the property letting experience.
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