How to attract and retain your ideal tenants

As a landlord, the most sought-after tenants are those who pay their rent on time, keep the property in good condition and don’t cause any problems.

Once you’ve found a great tenant, retaining them means keeping your rental income steady and avoiding the letting agent fees and other costs of constantly changing tenants or leaving properties unoccupied.

Here’s how best to find reliable tenants, and keep them happy.

Before you get started…

Protect your property against the risks involved in letting out a property by ensuring you have taken out comprehensive buy to let insurance. Make sure your property meets your legal obligations. You can check this by calling Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance’s property insurance experts on 0800 63 43 880.

How to attract your ideal tenants

Advertise well

Where you promote your property will impact who is likely to see it. Ensure the advert has a concise and appealing title, high-resolution pictures and describes all the property’s features accurately. Precise advertising should minimise appointments with viewers who arrive only to discover the property is not what they are looking for.

Though many considerations will impact how much rent you decide to charge, it is worth researching how other landlords in the area have priced similar properties and setting your rent
competitively.

Be prepared for viewings

Be available for evening and weekend viewings, as these times will usually be most convenient for tenants. Keep the property clean and appealing, especially if it has been unoccupied.

Make sure you can answer questions about likely-to-crop-up topics such as council tax banding, bin collection day and where the nearest amenities are.

Add a little bit extra

Think about the type of tenant you want to attract, be it families or young professionals, and keep them in mind when you decorate or furnish the property. Going the extra mile could be the difference between your property and another – could you install a dishwasher or include certain utility bills in the rent?

The vetting process

Before you accept a new tenant, it is advisable to ask for two forms of ID – one with a photo – and arrange a reference check. For a limited time, Total Landlord are offering a free of charge referencing service, making the process quick, easy and comprehensive.

You can find this at www.totaltenantreferencing.co.uk.

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How to keep your tenants happy

Leave your new tenant a housewarming gift

After an exhausting day of moving, a bottle of wine or some tea, coffee and milk can be gratefully received by your new tenants.

Hand over all the relevant information

Make sure your tenant has information including:

  • How to use the boiler
  • Where the fuse box, gas and electric meters are located, plus any keys required to access them
  • Instruction booklets for any appliances or white goods
  • When and where the bins should be put out

This will minimise questions for you and make them feel informed.

Clarify the rules of your agreement

Make sure both parties know what maintenance they are responsible for. To avoid unexpected surprises, ensure you have explained the tenancy agreement before the contract is signed, especially any important stipulations. Check your landlord insurance policy and make sure your tenant knows what is permitted – are they aware the property doesn’t allow smoking or pets?

Resolve issues quickly

Complaints usually start off as simple matters which need responding to promptly. If your tenant reports a faulty fixture or something else which is your responsibility, you should aim to act within a week to show that you take them seriously and are reliable.

Pay particular attention if the issue could pose a safety or security threat, such as exposed wiring or a broken lock.

Keep your distance

It’s a good idea to give your tenant a courtesy phone call or email after a month or a few weeks to check they have settled in and allow them an opportunity to ask any further questions. Other than that, try not to interfere.

If you want to contact your tenant, reach out by phone or email. When arranging an inspection of the property or access to carry out maintenance work, try to arrange a date and time which is suitable for the tenant.

Offer an incentive to renew before the tenancy ends

A month or two before the tenancy agreement expires, it can be a good idea to get in touch with your tenant and see if they are planning to extend their contract.

Think about what you could offer to tempt them to stay, such as keeping the rent the same, waving admin fees or a lick of paint in the living room.

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