Finding the right tenant, keeping and maintaining a good relationship.

A question on every landlords list, “Is this tenant right for my property?. The simple answer is you can’t always be 100% sure, you can however make sure you have 100% done your research and asked the right questions.

Although I have been in the property market for many years I am still a Landlord myself, I have always asked myself that same question of whether the tenant is right for my own property, it’s not just you. Even after all these years of property management I can still be surprised, sometimes pleasantly on how you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. That scruffy looking chap you showed around last week could turn out to be the best tenant you ever had. You can attend all the seminars in the world about how to market your property, how to make it more attractive, how to invest more money, the list goes on. But not many people or courses will tell you how to deduce how a tenant will be in your property, there is no trial period, no money back guarantee and certainly no 14 day return! There is a lot of protection out there for tenants if things go wrong, for not as it was advertised etc, but nothing to fall back on for the landlord while an initial tenancy is in place, and we all know how hard it can be evicting a problem tenant. My last blog touches on this.

So what can I do then?, you may ask. Well, firstly make sure you ask the right questions at the right time, listen carefully to audible clues and use your instincts to help. It might seem obvious but if a tenant is late with a lame excuse such as traffic was bad when you may have just had the same journey wouldn’t be the best start… little fibs can turn in to big lies should they be a potential tenant, like wise with times available, whilst we can appreciate people work different shifts and we have to be as accommodating as possible to have the viewing to fit around the viewer, the same should also be if they really want the property they will find the time frame to view.

There can be times when a property just sits for a while and doesn’t tickle any ones taste buds, this can sometimes lead to an offer being made, sometimes this offer can be very low, indicating affordability of the prospective tenant, or sometimes it can just be a savvy viewer who has spotted it has been around a while and taking a 5% ease in the monthly rent could be the best way forward to avoid more void periods, so we shouldn’t always just assume they would be bad tenants and look at the reason why, it doesn’t hurt to also ask why they have made an offer either.

Sometimes when we ask for information on a viewing the prospective tenant can seem cagey, reluctant to provide information, this can be a worrying sign as to whether they would be right for your property, but it could just be that the tenant doesn’t want to discuss everything on a viewing, or feels as though they can’t trust you just yet, try and find out a bit more about them by asking questions in a more structured way, instead of jumping straight in and finding out how much money they earn, just try and find out what they do, how much family time they have (would indicate full time or part time working), how many children do they have, build a rapport to give the tenant more confidence in answering more personal questions, finding out why they are moving would be valuable information, especially if they rent already, you can gauge the relationship they have with the landlord/agent. Whilst they probably won’t tell you if there has been a problem from their side at least you will know and can use that instinct of yours to better judge the potential prospects of having them as tenants.

Listen to their questions, and or demands, for instance, we may all have “something” wrong with our property in some form, maybe a mark we didn’t realise was there before the viewing took place, or the cleaning wasn’t as good as we thought it was or the washing machine has seen better days, we can expect an offer of reduction or demand for a better cleaning job would be reasonable, If however, the list of demands was borderline on a diva scale, or a requirement of wanting the property to look like a photo in The Home and Garden magazine when the property is in a sub £550 a month block of flats then you would want to look at whether this tenant would likely cause you a headache or costly maintenance issues, you would want to probably steer clear.

There are many more things you can do and things to ask to ensure you get the best possible tenant for your property but I would be here forever explaining, and whilst this guide doesn’t guarantee the best outcome it will sure minimise the risk, heck, even I made mistakes and learnt from them.

However, don’t leave everything to chance, you have more important things to do than sifting through piles of paperwork and running around after viewings, you could be viewing your next investment for instance, or enjoying your current investment working for you, by using a local letting agent you can take most of the guesswork away and let someone else do the legwork, put your property in safe hands.

This entry was posted in Coventry Property Focus Blog, Latest News.

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