5 top tips to ensure you find the best tenants

Fri 02 Aug 2019

1. Ensure your reference checks are thorough enough

This is really crucial. It may be a pain and will likely come with a cost, but the referencing process is so so important in successfully letting a property. Ideally, we would recommend an agent undertake this for you. You may think as an agent I’m biased, but let me explain…

Firstly, a good letting agent will reference your potential tenants thoroughly by running a swathe of background checks. These will pick up bad credit history, any County Court Judgements or IVA’s (Individual Voluntary Arrangements). You be surprised by the number of applicants we have that are completely unaware of the presence of a CCJ, or try to hide it. Our referencing process will always flag this up.

In addition to credit checks, a good letting agent will also source employment references and previous landlord references.  

Secondly, if an error were to occur and a tenant with bad credit were allowed to take up a tenancy, then the liability lays with the letting agent and not you personally. The agent would also be minded to recover any lost rent and helping to regain possession of your property. 

 

2. Avoid the likes of Gumtree 

Probably the most important of all the tips. Many private landlords we speak to seem to gravitate to Gumtree to source tenants, under the assumption that it is a more affordable route (but unfortunately not so cheap when you have a tenant months in arrears and won’t leave your property without a bailiff warrant though) but many of these landlords aren’t aware that generally tenants who have bad credit, county court judgements or have been in trouble with previous landlords look on Gumtree as a way to source a rental property. Why? Because they know a private landlord is less likely to reference them as stringently as a letting agent, if at all.

Landlords who source tenants on Gumtree may take a previous landlord or employer reference at best, but are they checking that employer is who they say they are and not just a tenant’s mate? Are they checking the tenant’s rental history, or credit history? If you’re a landlord in this boat, you really are opening up to so many potential problems – something we see regularly, when landlords come to us after a bad experience on sites like Gumtree.

Maybe buy a washing machine or a bike on Gumtree, but don’t risk something that could end up costing you thousands.
 

3. Make sure their income is more than enough

When looking at a potential tenants affordability, many landlords just look to see if their income will cover the rent. Wrong! It’s vital you take into account their living expenses too. Council tax, utilities, sky, Netflix, broadband aren’t cheap nowadays - and that’s before you even consider food, fuel and fun!

We’d recommend that you calculate the tenants annual earnings/household income to be at least  30 months rent. So if the rent is £700pcm, we’d advise the household income to be a minimum of £21,000 (£700 x 30).

Without building in a bit of leeway, what tends to happen when things are stretched is the rent is the first thing to fall by the wayside. It only takes unplanned sickness, an unexpected bill, or a relationship break-up, and your rent could suddenly be at risk.

This leaves YOU the landlord out of pocket, often having to cover mortgage payments yourself. We’ve had numerous self-managing landlords on the phone who have been caught up in situations like this, so please be mindful.

 

4. Maintain open lines of communication

When negotiating with a tenant about agreeing to take a rental, its important you are flexible and open lines of communication from the start. Tenants have different requirements when moving into a property, from changing start dates, requesting pets, a desire to install sky tv etc.

If you consider all requests fairly and ensure the communication lines are strong at the beginning of your relationship with your tenant, this will make for a much easier and positive tenancy throughout.

 

5.Ensure the property is in a good condition and clean before tenancy starts

We always advise our landlords that where possible, any maintenance works are completed before the tenancy starts AND the property is clean and tidy. It really will make all the difference to starting the relationship with your tenant on the right road.

Seeing excited tenants moving into a property that is a bit grubby, tired and worn can quickly morph their emotions 360 degrees, into angry tenants who will feel hard done by. They say moving house is one of the most stressful things in life – so don’t add to it by not finishing off important jobs. It will only make your relationship with your tenants strained from the start. No tenant wants to spend the first few exciting days of their tenancy cleaning up dirt and mess left by the previous occupants, for the sake of you sending in a cleaner and retaining the costs from the previous tenants deposit (if evidenced by the inventory).

 

Hopefully these 5 tips were useful, there is no perfect system for finding good tenants, but there are plenty of things you can put in place to ensure you are minimising the risk of having bad tenants in your property.

"A personal touch with a professional manner and I highly recommend them to rent or sell your property."
CD

News Archive

August 2019

5 top tips to ensure you find the best tenants

July 2019

How To Make Your New House A Home

June 2019

6 top tips for a smoother property transaction

We now officially have an award-winning Sales Team!

February 2019

In Conversation: Q&A With David Hawkes, Land & New Homes Director

Are you prepared for the forthcoming Letting Fees Bill?

January 2019

BREAKING: Stricter rules for mandatory electrical checks

Fitness For Human Habitation Act Becomes Law

Fitness For Human Habitation Act is now live, but what does this mean for Landlords?

Why is pays to use an agency that specialises in land deals

October 2018

Self managing? How evicting a tenant could fail spectacularly

September 2018

How we handle the three D’s – Death, Divorce & Debt

August 2018

First time buyers outstrip movers for first time in 23 years

July 2018

What does the profile of a modern landlord now look like?

Could your garden offer you the financial security we all strive for?

The top 4 things that put off UK homebuyers on viewings

House sale failures in the UK fell from record high in first quarter of 2018

Five year mandatory electrical checks for all private rental homes

What are the property improvements that give the best and worst returns?

May 2018

We’ve been selected to join an exclusive national Land and New Homes Network

Your rights for inspecting or viewing a property as a landlord

April 2018

A further 1,020 new homes approved for St Neots

Your Latest UK House Price News

Local Property Market Update - Sales

St Neots Lettings Market News

March 2018

Conveyancing: Understanding the legal guff when it comes to selling your home

St Neots gets the green light for 2,800 new homes

Why clutter can cost you thousands and what to do about it in three steps

We've joined Trustpilot - and already 5-star rated!

Lovett partners with industry giant Mick George Ltd

February 2018

Small details big picture

A recipe for success: smarten up your kitchen

January 2018

How to calculate rental yields

Houzz about this for a fantastic property design resource?

What does 2018 have in store for the housing market?

New year, new you...new HOME?

December 2017

Our Sales Team outperforms UK agents on achieving asking price

Our Christmas Opening Hours and Emergency Contact

November 2017

The 7 key things to look for when choosing an Estate Agent

The Budget: What it means for the property industry

Guest blog: Could first time buyers be set for a Stamp Duty cut?

Our Anne calls time on a great career!

St Neots Property Prices: The Lowdown

Interest rate increase

October 2017

Don’t be haunted by ghost gazumping

'It was like a pig sty'

Are Landlords unprepared for the ban?

They came and ate cake!

Landlord open evening, October 2017: Open to all

September 2017

Interest rates remain the same – but a future increase is coming

Average rents surge to a new high for 2017

I’m not Willy Wonka and Lovett’s isn’t a chocolate factory

Guest blog: How to identify smoke damage in your rental property

One thing you shouldn’t do when the price isn’t right

August 2017

The Great Outdoors has a big impact on a property’s value

What's happening with House Prices in St Neots?

Beat the Back to School Rush

Life onboard a dragonboat

Resolving Deposit Disputes With Tenants

July 2017

How to calculate rental yields

Ask The Expert: 'I am currently in a fixed rate mortgage, is it worth swapping mortgage deals as the rates are much lower?"

We're proud to be sponsoring the St Neots Community Awards 2017

Landlords and tenants in the St Neots area: How will the upcoming ban on tenant fees affect you?

The rise of retired renters

June 2017

Queen confirms tenant fees ban

UK rents fall for the first time in 8 years

Property Market Update, June - In Numbers

The Election and the Private Rented Sector: In brief

Guest Blog: Buy-to-let market hit by new reforms

May 2017

Looking after your money

Guest Blog: Bank of Mum and Dad Gets into the Top Ten UK Mortgage Lenders

Corporate golf day raises thousands for local charity

April 2017

Property Market Update – April 2017

Record Low Rate Launched on New Mortgage Product

Lovett's Support Dragon Boat Juniors

UK Lettings market starts to cool - but Cambridgeshire remains strong!

In Brief: 60 Seconds With.......Katie Williams, St Neots Town Centre Manager

Lovett partners with St Neots' first dedicated FM radio station

Top 5: Local Easter Egg Hunts This Weekend!

March 2017

Letting agents celebrate new protection for landlords and tenants

When is the best time to sell your property?

Guest Blog: Are you a buy-to-let mortgage prisoner?

Imminent changes to tax relief for residential landlords: In Brief

Landlords: Prepare early for EPC regulations changes

February 2017

Buy To Let Mortgages Hit Record Low

Home Repossessions Down in 2016 – But Will the Downward Trend Continue?

House Prices Surge In East of England

Government Announces New Housing White Paper

January 2017

Online Vs Traditional – The Battle Continues

2017: Property market predictions and trends

We smash our 2016 MacMillan Business Champions fundraising target

Keeping it in the family: Lovett MD passes on baton to his son

December 2016

Rents rocket across East Anglia as it closes gap on London

The Sales Property Market in PE19, 2015-16

Forecasting the Property Market: The Next 5 Years...

Autumn Statement - Chancellor Focuses On Housing

November 2016

Proposed Ban Of Tenant Letting Fees

October 2016

Sales Market Update - November 2016

Lettings Market Update - November 2016

Looking For An Investment Property?

Lovett's In The Community

Property Market Update – October 2016

Coffee Morning Is A Piece Of Cake!

Lovett Ringing The Changes!

September 2016

Download our free guide to selling your home in Cambs

Back to School - How Catchment Areas Shape Our Buying and Selling Habits

Property Sales Market Update – September 2016

New Government Landlord Tax Changes: In Summary

August 2016

Lovett At The Dragonboat Festival

August Property Market Update - Nationally and Locally

First Time Buyers Paying A Higher Price?

Our Charity Cycle Ride Raises Thousands For Local Charity

June 2016

**COMPETITION TIME**

July Property Market Update – Post Brexit

David’s Top 5 Tips……Preparing Your Home For Viewings!

Lovett's at Lettings Agent of the Year Awards

May 2016

May Property Market Update

Fancy New-Build Waterside Living From Just £159,995?

Our Rent Pledge Proving a Firm Favourite

Lovett’s Use Pedal Power for Woodlands Fundraiser

BREXIT: What now for the property market?

March 2016

Let Them Eat Cake!

February 2016

Right to Rent Legislation - We've Got It Covered

January 2016

West Cambs Set For Further Capital Growth

December 2015

Chancellor Announces Stamp Duty Hike for Property Investors

November 2015

Buy-to-Let Landlords Evening

October 2015

Bank of England To Curb Buy-To-Let Lending?

Recognition for 30+ Years As Local Property Experts

Dragonboat Success for Lovett Crew!

August 2015

Our Top 5 Local Spots for Summertime Drinks!

Advice For Concerned Kirby Landlords/Tenants

July 2015

Local Lettings Market Goes From Strength to Strength

June 2015

We Partner with Auction House

Professional Lettings Agents unite for SAFEagent Awareness Week 2015

May 2015

OnTheMarket.com announces 10million visits in 3 months

April 2015

The Sales Process

St Neots RUFC Festival of Rugby, 24th - 26th April

NEWS: Stamp Duty Overview

BLOG POST: The First 40 Years Are The Hardest.......

Welcome To Our Brand New Website!