How do you find the best possible tenants?
The best landlords care about the quality of their tenants. Good quality tenants treat the property like their own home. They pay the rent on time, treat the property well, are reasonable with requests for repairs, and end the tenancy with the minimum of damage.
Finding the best tenant
The way to attract the very best tenant is, unsurprisingly, similar to how you achieve the best rent:
1. Presentation – the biggest factor is the quality of your property. Good furnishing, smart and modern interiors, fresh paint and an investment in good repairs make the world of difference. Running through this landlord guide is a simple premise – properties attract the tenants they deserve.
2. Flexibility – the more you widen your parameters, the greater the chance of finding the best tenant. So be flexible with start dates, tenancy length, pets, furnishing and pre-tenancy works.
Can I vet the applicants?
We undertake the references and credit check which we pass on to those landlords who want to see them. If you want to meet your applicants, that is a good idea, but be wary of scaring them off, tenants can be sensitive about their right to privacy and the over-zealous or over friendly landlord is a stereotype to avoid.
Keeping the best tenant
You have found a good tenant – great. Now your behaviour will influence whether you keep them or not. This is why we are called Finders Keepers – because we ‘keep’ tenants and look after them. So we advise you to be reasonable and willing to invest in the property. If you hold back on repairs, your tenant will be unhappy – and there is so much choice in the rental market that they could easily go elsewhere.
I don’t want X, Y, Z type of tenant, can you ensure that?
By law, you cannot discriminate on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability (1). Beyond that you can decide. We spend a huge amount of effort trying to match landlords’ preferences (“academic couple”) and that is part of the art of letting. The narrower your brief such as no pets or no sharers, the harder it is to achieve your target rent.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.
(1) Equality Act 2010