How to Attract Good Tenants to Your Rental Property?
Knowing how to attract good tenants to your rental property is the ambition of many a landlord. After all, having a solid relationship with your tenants could potentially lead to a longer tenancy period, helping you to steer clear of void periods and the heavy associated costs.
Aside from the financial security a longer tenancy agreement can bring, maintaining a disregard for who is using your rental property can prove a critical mistake further down the line. The fulfilment of securing another tenancy could be quickly dispelled by regret after finding property damage or late rent payments, only to realise this could have been avoided.
They say that hindsight is 2020, but what can landlords do to minimise their interactions with future problem tenants and what is the best way to find a good tenant? Here we detail things landlords and property owners can do to not only find a tenant quickly, but help choose between tenants when the time comes.
Make Your Property Safe
Of course, as a landlord the safety of your tenants is paramount, with the responsibility of keeping the rental property safe, secure and free from hazards falling firmly on your shoulders. It is the legal obligation of the landlord to ensure that each property being let out is in a good state of repair and fit for human habitation. Before tenants can occupy a rental there are a number of legal requirements the landlord must satisfy to verify the integrity of the property.
The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 detail that it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that all gas appliances and fittings within a property are operating safely. To this end a gas safety check will need to be completed annually and conducted by a certified gas safe engineer. At the start of every tenancy the new tenant must be provided with a valid gas safety certificate, and within 28 days of each annual inspection or new boiler installation.
Landlords are also legally required to detail the energy efficiency of their rental property with an energy performance certificate. As of 2018 any property that has been evaluated and has an energy performance rating of “E” or lower cannot be let out to new tenants, with these regulations also applying to all existing tenancies after the 1st April 2020.
With one in ten UK house fires being started by faulty appliances and wiring, ensuring the safety of electrical appliances within your rental property is also of significant value. As of June 2020 it became the legal obligation for landlords have an electrical safety inspection carried out every five years. Providing the rental property passes the safety checks the landlord will be provided with an Electrical installation Condition Report detailing the potential safety risks, and hazards within the property and any recommended fixes. Copies of this report must be given to tenants within 28 days of the electrical safety inspection, with any potential new tenants having the same time frame upon making a request to obtain the EICR. Whilst it is obviously in the best interests of any rental property owner to maintain its appliances and outlets, failure to meet these new regulations can cost landlords dearly, with the penalties potentially reaching £30,000.
Rental properties must also have smoke alarms installed on each floor, where a room is being used as living accommodation. Carbon Monoxide Alarms must also be fitted in any rooms that contain fuel burning appliances. It is the landlord’s obligation to ensure that these detectors are functioning optimally at the start of every tenancy. If the property owner fails to comply with these regulatory measures the local authority is able to impose a fine of up to £5,000.
Show Respect for Privacy
Whilst we understand that rental property owners may want to check up on their investment from time to time; however, this must first be coordinated with the tenant. With the introduction of the Housing Act 1988, a landlord or letting agent must provide the tenants of the property they wish to enter with at least 24 hours written notice before doing so. If a landlord or any of their representatives enters the property without this notice or the explicit permission of the tenant this could be deemed as trespassing, breaching the tenants right to live in “quiet enjoyment.”
Under the protection from eviction act 1977, a landlord is deemed guilt of harassment if they are found to be interfering “with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of the household”, or if the property owner “persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonable required for the occupation of the premises in question as a residence.”
Many landlords may believe that this can be navigated through bespoke clauses in their tenancy agreement, permitting them to enter the rental property at any point during the tenancy, irrelevant of any prior notice period. However, any such clause made in the agreement would not be legally enforceable as this would be rendered void through the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999, breaching a right that the tenants would otherwise enjoy. Exemptions can be made under the right circumstance however, with the landlord being able to enter the rental in an emergency that demands they gain immediate access to the property.
With this being said tenants are not able to totally banish landlords from their rental homes, particularly in the instance of property maintenance. If a landlord is required to carry out repairs on a property that have been ordered by the council or are otherwise mandatory they are typically permitted access, but again, providing proper notice is given to the occupying tenants.
It is often said that first impressions last, and with the lengths landlords and property owners go to before a viewing; we believe they are well suited to agree. Curb appeal is a prospective tenant’s introduction to the rental property, with their aesthetic assessment of their future home massively informing their expectations for the properties interior. It goes without saying that a home that is presented well, maintained to a high standard will incentivise potential buyers to explore and work to encourage more interest.
Arguments that curb appeal is somewhat irrelevant during a period of increased virtual property viewings are not convincing. With the amount of UK renters doubling in the last decade, alongside the almost exclusive adoption of online letting agents, if anything the opportunity to leave a lasting impression has surged as tenants enjoy increased rental opportunities.
Curb appeal is about highlighting the fullest features and richest details in the exterior of your property, and can have major influence on how long your search for tenants is. Whilst tips on increasing curb appeal for homeowners can often come in the form of garden landscaping advice, a fresh coat of paint on those tired looking windows and doors, tenants will also be looking ahead, searching for those practical, day to day elements such as parking spaces, places to collect their mail and property security measures.
As I am sure many rental property owners and landlords will agree, no one wants their property empty for extended periods, but not only will curb appeal help fill those empty tenancies, but can also help in charging higher rental fees. Whilst we also recognise that these renovations and subtle changes can initially be fairly costly to the landlord, but the tenant engagement and monetary return on your investment will make your effort more than worth it.
Advertising Your Rental Property
The effective marketing of your rental property is essential in attracting new tenants. There are the first ports of calls, ensuring the property is clean, with furnishings being well presented, alongside all maintenance issues being addressed. Similarly to curb appeal whether listing your property with an online letting agent or their high street counterparts the visual appeal of your property can’t be dismissed, especially with some online portals reducing tenants initial exposure to your property to a single image.
This is where professional photography services are essential, whilst we trust landlords to be able to whip up a tenancy agreement, not all of us are a dab hand with a camera and to the dismay of landlords and tenants alike, can lead to some unflattering depictions of an otherwise charming property.
To this end, PropertyLoop’s photorealistic tours provide tenants with an unprecedented depiction of the rental property. These fully immersive digital tours use AI technology to accurately collet billions of reference point to present prospective tenants with a captivating and fully realised vision of their future home. Allowing the property to be viewed as a floor plan, dollhouse or simply walk through the 3D tours are accessible to tenants at any time, offering convenience in the place of multiple viewings. Each rental advertised through property loop also benefits from a professionally conducted 4K HD cinematic videography, highlighting the intricacies that make your property special.
Check Out Your Competition
Assessing properties within the locality of your rental can provide incredible insight when trying to market to new tenants. Not only with this gives landlords a clear indication of the average rental price commanded locally, but the typical type of tenant that each property appeals to. It is important to keep in mind what other properties offer for the price they charge and where they fall short, giving you the edge when discussing this with possible tenants.
It is also good to keep in mind the type of tenants you wish to rent your property out to. As a landlord its easy to slip into the mentality that you are simply offering a roof over someone’s head, but to renters, it will inform their lifestyle. If you are hoping to attract families to your rental it could be a simple as mentioning nearby schools and parks in your listing, with students and the young professional demographics typically being more interested in restaurants, bars and transport links.
Prior to property viewings direct communication with potential tenants can be sparse, and even with the richest of dialogues it’s a small window of opportunity to fully assess the character of your future tenant. Knowing who is going to be moving into your rental property is of course crucial, after the entire rental is an investment a landlord makes.
Typically these checks are performed by specialist companies or as an optional extra for online letting agents such as Upad and Openrent, with a high premium being placed on conducting the reference. The reference check will assess the potential tenant’s right to rent in the UK, alongside verifying the tenant’s employment status and credit history to ensure they can afford to pay the rent asked for in the agreement. The applicants quality as a tenant is also examined through obtaining a character reference from their most recent landlord, detailing if the property was damaged during the tenancy period, if rent was paid on time, in what state was the property left in and if they would recommend then as a tenant.
Whilst letting agents and firms traditionally charge per tenant for these assessments, when advertising your rental through PropertyLoop you have complete freedom in the vetting process as we don’t take a penny until your new tenant has moved in. Additionally, we strive to provide landlords with the fullest picture during their rental journey, not satisfied with a reference from a single Landlord, we obtain a tenants full rental history, covering all previous landlord relationships. This not only means landlords using PropertyLoop know exactly who they are renting to, but aren’t charged exorbitant amounts to find their ideal tenant.
PropertyLoop has set out to create a supportive global network, connecting owners and renters to change the typical renting dynamic into one of trust and community, making the renting journey easier than ever. Whilst we are at the forefront of the industries digital revolution we have not forgotten the personal, tangible connection that landlords and tenants rightfully expect. Our platform not only streamlines all aspects of finding tenants to managing properties but upholds clarity and innovation for the benefit of renters everywhere.
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February 12, 2021
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