Finding good tenants is key to protecting your investment and maximising profit, but what should landlords be looking for when selecting a new tenant? Rather than making a judgement based upon instinct, it is important to be objective and look for evidence. A good tenant will have a healthy track record of paying on time and should have a good credit score. They should be able to provide excellent references and have no history of eviction or worrying conduct. Selecting a new tenant is a business decision, so you must keep your feelings out of it. Use the information you get from screening reports to do this. By being impartial and applying the same requirements to everyone, you are less likely to make the wrong decision.
Make the property desirable
It will be much easier to attract the right tenant if your property is well-maintained, in good repair and attractive. Make sure the property has kerb appeal and looks neat and tidy and improve the impression it creates by making simple changes such as painting the interior, cleaning the windows and planting flowers in the garden. You can find more ideas for making your property more desirable in this article You will also need to calculate what would be a fair market rent in order to optimise your yield whilst still appealing to eligible applicants.
Protect your property
Landlords should have a form LL restriction registered on the title deeds to protect the property from being sold fraudulently without their knowledge. You can find out more information about how to do this here https://www.parachutelaw.co.uk/form-ll-land-registry-restriction.
Advertise your property
Online advertising is the easiest way to advertise your property as it can reach a large audience at a low cost. Ensure your ad is appealing and stands out, otherwise, it will just get lost amongst the hundreds of other rental ads. It is important to highlight not just the positive aspects, but any restrictions as well. Perhaps you are not willing to accept pets or smokers. This will avoid wasting time showing interested potential tenants a property that does not meet their requirements.
You could also ask friends, relatives and existing tenants if they know of anyone looking to rent, as this is a good way to find trustworthy tenants. A virtual tour of the property is a good way to show off its features and allows prospective tenants to get a good idea of whether it might be suitable. You should also state your rental preferences and expectations clearly in the listing in order to attract eligible tenants.
When you have found a tenant, you need to put a lease agreement in place which sets out all your policies clearly. This will be signed by both parties and will serve to avoid any misunderstandings. This should include the number of people living in the property, the payment dates, any late fees, pets and smoking rules and anything else you require.