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What to consider as a self-managing landlord when choosing the right tenant

For a landlord that does all their own property management, one of the biggest challenges can be selecting the right tenant. 

Many  landlords can tell you horror stories about tenants that seemed quiet and polite, yet turned out to be poor payers, bad neighbours or property damagers. 

How can you avoid accidentally making the wrong choice when it comes to a tenant? 

Here are some great tips…

1. Always check references

It can seem like a hassle, but a quick call to a tenant’s previous landlord can save you months of worry. Find out whether they paid on time, how often they requested repairs or maintenance and whether there were any complaints about them. If any of the answers are cause for concern, walk away. You should also check with the tenant’s stated employer that they do indeed still work there and earn what they say they do!

2. Quality attracts quality

Check how your property looks to a prospective tenant. If everything looks neat, clean and in good repair, you should attract interest from decent and reliable tenants. If the quality of your property is not quite what it could be, you might be putting off the people with the best renting potential.

3. Make a note

If you’re showing people around yourself, make a note of their names and any key facts. They might give you some clues as to their trustworthiness as you tour the building. Remembering which people you liked - and any that you didn’t - could prove helpful if they then apply for your rental property.

4. Be open minded

You might find that some of your rules exclude potential renters from the start. Many landlords do not allow pets - but around 44 per cent of the UK’s households keep an animal. Don’t lose a great tenant because they own a fish tank! The majority of cats and dogs are well trained and won’t cause you any headaches. If you’re worried, arrange to meet the pet before agreeing the tenancy and increase your rental deposit by £50-£100 for added protection.

5. Don’t rush

It’s tempting to accept a tenant quickly so that you don’t miss a month’s rent. But this can be a false economy. If you’re in any doubt about someone’s suitability, wait. It’s better to miss a month but gain a long-term, undemanding tenant, rather than an antisocial renter, a bad payer or someone who will move on in six months’ time.

Renting your property is an exercise in trust, and it’s important to be as sure as you can be that you’ve chosen the right person. 

6. Go with your gut

The final tip is to go with your gut instinct. If you have a bad feeling about something, it often turns out to be right. In renting, it’s better not to take a the chance.

If you’re self-managing your own portfolio but considering using a letting and property management agent, then we’d love to hear from you. We’re experts in single lets, HMOs and serviced accommodation and offer a range of excellent services tailored to our landlords’ needs. Alternatively, if you’d like some help or support with anything property related, then email our New Business Manager, Paul Oddie pauloddie@progressivelets.co.uk or call 01733 293900.