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How To Get Better Tenants

4th January 2021

Who is your perfect tenant?

Let’s think about how we define our perfect tenant. It might differ from landlord to landlord and will depend on what’s important to you. You’ll also consider the type of property you own and the area you’re in – for example, is it a HMO? Are you located in a city centre full of professionals? Or is it an area popular with families?

The type of person you are able to target will determine how you categorise them, such as:

  • A family will require a home over a longer-term, where they can have security, and room to grow.
  • A young professional will be more likely to have an assured and stable income and will be prepared to pay for a good property with modern appliances.
  • A retired couple will have the benefit of a secured income and will be aware of their financial situation longer term. They will have experience in running a home and will be prepared to pay for what works for them.

Nice to meet you

The best way to get a feel for a prospective tenant is to actually meet them. As humans, we have an in-built ability to make hundreds of judgments based on seeing and talking to another human being, so what better way to get an idea of whether a person is right for your property?

This creates the opportunity to ask them questions about their situation, such as their reasons for moving, past rental situations, their jobs, and even their hobbies. It’s a great way to get a feel for who they are in a more natural and less formal way.

Don’t make promises at this stage, though. It’s perfectly ok for you to tell them that you’re not ready to make a decision yet and that you’ll be in touch, especially if you’re not getting a good vibe from them. You don’t have to take the first tenant you meet – in fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Check them out

Make sure that you do all the proper checks. Having a credit check, verifying their income, and immigration checks, will all determine whether they are the right tenant for you, and whether they can afford to pay their rent. However, be careful not to discriminate – letting things like race or colour, religion, or even benefit claims cloud your judgement is a big mistake, and as well as being unfair, is illegal.

Something else you might consider; using Google. Many people use social media, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and it’s surprising what you can find out about a person just by searching their name. It’s a useful tool if you want to make sure that the person applying to rent your property is right for you, as you can often get a good feel for their background, friends and opinions, which could all give you an indication of how they will be as a tenant.

Go with your gut

Above all, trust your instincts. If you want better tenants, it really is worth making the effort to meet them, talk to them, and don’t be afraid to do a bit of basic research into their background. Ask questions, and take the time to get a real feel for who they are. And be brave enough to admit if you don’t like them – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting they are not a good fit for you, and looking for someone who is. So many landlords are in such a rush to get someone into their property that they just sign up the first person who takes an interest – and then have regrets when they create problems in not maintaining the property, or worse still causing damage or complaints.

Hopefully, this post has given you a little bit more confidence to go out there and seek out your perfect tenant. Making that little bit of extra effort can save you so much heartache in the long term.

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