Thursday, 15 May 2014

How To Choose A Good Tenant

Being a landlord sounds great, a lump of money out in your account every month and your property looked after while it's value is hopefully growing.

This is the case if you have a good tenant.

I've had some amazing tenants but I've also had a couple that had absolutely no respect for the place they live (or quite frankly themselves judging by the mess they left).  They both absconded.

So how do you find a good tenant?

1. Get the House Gleaming.  If it isn't up to
scratch when they view it, they'll think you're ok with that and that they can keep it in a poor condition.

2. Consider where you advertise.  Hospitals and Universities are great places to advertise, particularly if you can get a mature student.  Where will the employed, good tenants look for housing ads?  Probably the internet or noticeboards at work.  Where will undesirable tenants look for housing?

3. Meet Prospective Tenants Personally.  It's You that will have issue with them so You need to meet them.  You will get a gut feeling on people and you can pick up loads of non verbal signs such as if they do smoke, how well presented they are, what chit chat they make.  It all gives you clues to their suitability for your property.  The two tenants I had that absconded were both supplied from letting agents, and two separate letting agents at that!!

4.  Get References.  And actually do get the references not just two names on a form.  Ask the referees questions about the things that matter to you, cleanliness, damages and repairs to the property whilst they were a tenant, do they pay on time?  Even if you like the person, if they don't get glowing references, don't take them up on it, you will regret it.

5. The Notice Period.  Is the prospective tenant going to ride out their notice period with their existing landlord or are they doing a bunk.  Personally, I won't touch anyone that does a bunk because they will do that same bunk on you in a few months time.

Remember, a good tenant is worth their weight in gold and a bad tenant can be difficult to get rid of and cost you at least 3 months rent.

This is the third post in the Being a Landlord Series.  Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss a post.

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