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Top tips on how landlords can look for an ideal tenant

Oliver Andrews, editor at Property Assist Claim, sets out how landlords can find the ideal tenants for their rental homes. 

If you are a landlord in the UK looking for a reliable, consistent tenant, you have come to the right place. If you are a prospective tenant in the UK looking to be an ideal candidate for a landlord, this article will be helpful to you, too.

How to Find Good Tenants Tip #1: Use a Professional Property Management or Leasing Company

Using a professional property management or leasing company is key to flagging prospective tenants with bad history. If you are a landlord of private property, you may encounter undesirable tenants, as they tend to target private owners. Here are some red flags you should not ignore.


Red Flag #1: Immediate Move-In Request

Bad tenants will do anything to avoid a background check. If a prospective tenant offers cash over the rent amount, they may be trying to get out of a screening. Be sure to make them complete the screening process, regardless of the cash incentive. Tenant screening companies like Experian offer a comprehensive background screening for landlords at an affordable cost.

Red Flag #2: Excuses

A bad tenant will also try to get out of a deposit by making excuses. Whether that excuse is having had a wallet stolen, identity theft, or a tragedy in the family, be sure to proceed with caution. They may want to get out of the deposit altogether, which would mean you will never see a deposit.

Red Flag #3: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Whenever a prospective tenant asks you not to contact their existing landlord or talks negatively about them, run. These requests are an obvious sign that they are not on good terms with their landlord, and these reasons could be financial or behavioural.

How to Find Good Tenants Tip #2: Provide a Quality Home

If you intend to bring in professionals as tenants, you will want to think of how to give them a home, not a property. Making a property more professional can be as simple as remodelling or refreshing the interior or exterior of the apartment or house. Here are some simple suggestions.

Retouch Your Property with New Paint

A simple paint job on the interior walls and cabinets or the exterior of your apartment or house can draw in good tenants. Pick the colour wisely, and try to find a neutral colour like beige or tan, so that prospective tenants do not get turned off.

Upgrade the Floor, Sinks, or Bathtub

Yanking out old carpet and replacing it with tile or new carpet could make an enormous difference for your apartment or house appeal. You may also want to replace old sinks or an old bathtub to give off a more modern vibe.

Make Good Use of Your Property Insurance

Your property insurance may cover certain repairs or upgrades. For instance, if a major storm damaged the roof or exterior of the building or a burst pipe caused water damage in the basement. Of course, these claims can be complex, especially if the damage isn't exactly new. Consider help from with property insurance consultant to maximize your coverage.

How to Find Good Tenants Tip #3: Take Professional Photos

We all have smartphones, but hiring a professional photographer for your rental properties is key to bringing in good tenants. Plus, you’ll save more with a good tenant than a bad one, so think of the cost of the photographer as an investment.

Have the photographer take photos of the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, closets, washer/dryer, and any other highlights you think a tenant would like about your rental property.

How to Find Good Tenants Tip #4: Keep on Top of Maintenance

Remodelling can have your property looking new. However, without proper maintenance, your property may wind up looking old and run-down, which may make a good tenant leave. Good tenants want a landlord that is responsive and active in the event of any issues. Putting money aside for these fixes can ensure your good tenants will stick around a little while longer.

How to Find Good Tenants Tip #5: Be Strict With Payments

Be sure you’re not too lenient with your tenants: Set ground rules on rent payments. For example, tell tenants that rent is due the first of the month and, if left unpaid, they will either have to pay a fee or be evicted. This makes it easier for you to rid yourself of bad tenants and also have payments coming in when you want them to.

Where to find good tenants?

Good tenants are hard to find. There are a few forums you can use to find them. Here are our top suggestions:

Ask Your Existing Tenants for References

If you have good tenants, they may know good people. Asking them if they could help put the word out to their social circle can better the chances of having good people live on your property.

Online and In-Person Advertisements

You can stick with traditional “for rent” signage on your property or post your rental availability online, with photos and information about the property. Posting to Craigslist, social media, or other housing websites like Landlord Today can help attract more applicants. Consider offering a virtual tour for online advertisements as well.

Open Houses

You may want to consider having open houses for your property rentals. These can be a way for you to get a feel for prospective tenants while also showcasing your property.

Final thoughts

The bottom line in finding a good tenant is simple: Do not rush. Take the time to screen prospective tenants, remodel your property, hire a professional photographer, and roll out your advertisements within your local market. Having a fundamental understanding of your local market can help you advertise efficiently and cue in on your target demographic.

*Oliver Andrews is editor at Property Claim Assist

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