How Sheffield landlords can avoid a nightmare tenant
If you’ve decided to let out your property, you need to know how to find the perfect tenant - and how to spot a potential nightmare.
While it can be tempting to turn everything over to an agency, deciding who will be staying in your home is not something that should be left to chance.
Viewings are the most important part of marketing a property, and something you should be there for.
On average, it takes between four and six viewings to secure a letting and 90% of tenants would prefer to meet the landlord before making a decision. So if you want to “sell” your property, and make sure you find the right tenant, you have to be there - hundreds of offers mean nothing if none of them come good.
In a competitive market you’ll want to show-off your property and highlight all the benefits it has - but it’s just as important to take the time to interrogate your potential tenants.
It might seem intrusive, but a property may be your biggest asset and you are completely within your rights to ask viewers as many questions as you like. Are they employed full time? Is it a family? Do they have pets?
First impressions are formed within the first seven seconds of meeting someone and ‘gut feel’ is a wonderful thing if understood correctly. Your instinctive impression of someone is often made up of important factors, such as do they look presentable and are they likeable? Tenants may read this as being judgmental but if someone looks well-kept and is naturally easy to get along with it’s a good indicator of how they may be as a tenant.
More importantly, with rent arrears on the rise, you need to communicate so that both parties have complete clarity over what is to be agreed. With that in mind you should present the property in the condition that you wish the tenant to leave it in - and make this clear to the tenant from the outset.
It’s also advisable to carry a copy of a tenancy agreement, highlighting key parts in person to make sure they understood what is required of them. Covering the logistics of the deposit and the tenancy start date will prevent any delays to the process.
You can also walk through some practical examples of ‘wear and tear’, which is always a grey area in the inventory.
Finally, although having a clear opinion of those viewing your property will help your chances of a problem-free tenancy, there is nothing more important to a landlord than the written word. A tenant sign-up can be complex and littered with pitfalls, so be detailed and use support services to help cover all grounds. A written inventory and agreement is your greatest defence should the worst come to the worst.
ESTAS Award-winners for “Best Online Agency” Upad offer extensive TCS (Tenancy Compliance Services), which can be instrumental in preparing your property for a new tenancy. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable - find out how compliant you are with this landlord quiz at www.upad.co.uk/testyourlet, and get free compliance service from Upad with every purchase of a tenancy contract.