As a landlord, finding the perfect tenant for your property can be a difficult task. You want to make sure everything is looked after and that the rent payments are regular and on time. If you’re investing in UK property from overseas, this task can be even harder due to thousands of miles’ distance and differing time zones to contend with. With plenty of questions from landlords and investors alike, we’ve put together our top tips for finding the perfect tenant for your property.
Meet the tenant first
Your property is all ready to be rented out and you want to get a tenant in as soon as possible. The quicker your property is lived in, the quicker you can start making returns. Whilst it can be tempting to want to fill the property as soon as possible, it’s important to make sure you find the right tenant. Choosing the wrong one will cost you more money and time in the long run.
Meeting the tenant is essential. You’ll be able to get a feel of what the tenant is like and ask them a few questions. First impressions matter and you want to make sure your property is looked after by the right person. It’s better to spend some time getting to know a prospective tenant before letting them live in your property. You don’t want to get 6 months into the tenancy with overdue payments, or end up with a property in bad condition.
Ask plenty of questions
With a potential tenant wanting to move into your property, now is the perfect time to ask plenty of questions. This will help you to gauge how the property will be looked after, what the property will be used for and the likelihood for any problems with rent or neighbour disturbance. A couple of good starting point questions include:
- Age – This is a good feel for where the person might be in their life. Many landlords ask for a guarantor for tenants under a certain age (usually 21 and below) to ensure rent payments are always made.
- Occupation – What does the tenant do for a living? This is important as from this you can gauge if they’ll be able to afford to rent the property.
- Single occupancy or shared occupancy – Will the tenant be living in the flat on their own, with a partner or their family?
- Pets – Does the tenant have any pets? Many properties have strict rules about keeping pets. It’s important to check the allowances if your property is part of a wider development complex before making any promises to tenants.
- Hobbies and interests – This is a great conversation starter to get to know your tenants even more, but it can also help gauge whether they’ll be a nuisance to neighbours.
Carry out a credit check
Your tenant is ticking all the boxes so far and looks like the perfect fit for your property. Whilst you might think they will be an ideal tenant, it’s still important you carry out a credit check.
A credit check will take into account all of the tenant’s financial history, looking into everything from credit card bills to existing mortgages, and even other smaller financial transactions such as phone bills and other direct debits. From this information you’ll be able to see whether the tenant can afford to rent the property.
You’ll also be able to view evidence of their ability to make regular payments. This is key if they’ll be renting your property as this means rent payments will be regular and on time. A slip in rent repayments is never good for landlords. Having to evict a tenant for late repayments is troublesome as well as it means you’re back to square one in finding the perfect tenant. If the old tenant has damaged the property, your new tenant won’t be able to move in until all repairs have been made and the property restored to its original condition. Any charges while the property is vacant will have to be covered by the landlord, significantly affecting the yields on the property.
Let the experts do it for you
Some landlords love to get hands-on with their properties and build up great relationships with their tenants. However, for many this isn’t always possible.
If you’re an investor with a busy schedule or investing from overseas, it’s not always practical to take a hands-on approach to managing your property. Alliance Investments are able to assist in the full management of your property, including marketing the property and finding your perfect tenant.
If you want to find out how we can help you to find the perfect tenant and make sure you’re getting the most from your investment, contact one of our property experts here.