Finding the right tenant

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    Finding the right tenant

    Blimey, this is more complicated than I imagined! We have advertised a small house to rent and have had 2 people look at it. One said she really needed more bedrooms and the other seemed really keen but we've heard nothing.

    We've also had a few ring up who I just don't like the sound of. One I could hear dragging on a cigarette, yet I said "No smokers" ..... another came on telling me how to do things and how his name alone would be enough of a reference for a relative of his who wants to view the house.:

    How do you put off people you don't "take to" and I can do that can't I? It's not discriminatory or something is it?

    #2
    Before doing a viewing, try and have a check sheet of questions you want to ask. There is not a lot that you can do to stop "undesirables" calling you.

    Don't be pushed into arranging a viewing on the 1st call.
    Only call back the people that sound okay to yourself to view the property.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Try getting all your viewings on one eveningor afternoon - though you don't seem to be getting many - why is that - you might do better to get an agent to 'tenant find only' and you meet them and decide? This way a good agent screens out the cackers.

      I just thank viewers for coming and tell the ones I like to contact the agent if they are interested. Then I email the agent with the ones I would like as tenants. That ususually works out for me.



      Freedom at the point of zero............

      Comment


        #4
        As I have posted several times recently, I wholeheartedly agree with Interlaken. I have been a landlord now for over 10 years and if I have learned anything, it is that a good agent with "high street" presence and who is a member of ARLA and/or NEA should always be used to find tenants. The losses to which you can easily become liable if you take on, through lack of experience, an undesirable tenant will be many, many times more than the cost of using such an agent to find you a tenant. It is to be remembered however that such a policy does not prevent the acquisition of such a tenant, it merely minimises the risk of getting one!

        P.P.
        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
          Try getting all your viewings on one eveningor afternoon - though you don't seem to be getting many - why is that - you might do better to get an agent to 'tenant find only' and you meet them and decide? This way a good agent screens out the cackers.

          I just thank viewers for coming and tell the ones I like to contact the agent if they are interested. Then I email the agent with the ones I would like as tenants. That ususually works out for me.

          Probably because I've jonly put 2 postcards up in local shops. We had a couple of small jobs we wanted to do in there so just put these up to "test the water". I will think about what you (and others, thanks) said about using an agent.

          Comment


            #6
            Third vote for getting an ARLA and/or NAEA member agent to find you a tenant.

            Advertising via cornershop windows is asking for trouble, especially if you are a newbie landlord (as it sounds like).

            Join a landlord association too, such as http://www.landlords.org.uk/index.htm and ensure you are fully clued up on your legal obligations as LL; there are a lot, and ignorance can potentially get you into a lot of trouble/cost you a lot of money.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Twohoots View Post
              Blimey, this is more complicated than I imagined! We have advertised a small house to rent and have had 2 people look at it. One said she really needed more bedrooms and the other seemed really keen but we've heard nothing.

              We've also had a few ring up who I just don't like the sound of. One I could hear dragging on a cigarette, yet I said "No smokers" ..... another came on telling me how to do things and how his name alone would be enough of a reference for a relative of his who wants to view the house.:

              How do you put off people you don't "take to" and I can do that can't I? It's not discriminatory or something is it?
              If you have no experience of letting, I would advise you to use a good local agent that you get along with.
              They will be able to tailor their selection to the kind of tenant you are looking for and advise you on many things.

              History is littered with the misfortune of property owners who fancy their hand at being landlords but who haven't done enough to learn what they need to do or prepare for the experience.

              There's alot to consider but picking the right people is the most important thing you must get right in my view.
              A good agent will help you with this and can be invaluable in sniffing out undesirable people.
              Their charges will seem piffling by comparison if you ever get the wrong tenant.

              Sticking cards in shop windows is like sticking a pin in a group of horse's names for the grand national - you will need a large amount of luck with that method.

              Comment


                #8
                Your other problem, being inexperienced, is picking a good agent! Being a member of ARLA and or NEA is an excellent sign, but you MUST read any agreement that they ask you to sign carefully. If there is anything about which you are unsure - post back here.
                One trick that many agents use is the automatic 6 monthly tenancy renewal. To renew a tenancy agreement is unnecessary (read up on statutory periodic tenancies) but some agents like to do this as they can earn an extra six monthly fee from their clients. However you might decide to go fully managed for your first tenancy paying your agent a monthly percentage of the rent he collects for you. Again - post back here with any queries.

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think I am in the same boat as Twohoots.

                  What does ARLA and/or NEA stand for? What is the best way to locate a good agent?

                  Thanks in advance.
                  Cheers,

                  EK

                  Comment


                    #10
                    ARLA = Association of Residential Letting Agents
                    NAEA = National Association of Estate Agents
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by engineerkyle View Post
                      What is the best way to locate a good agent?
                      1. How long have they been in business?
                      2. Do they have a good reputation - ask the local paper property dept. and trading standards dept.
                      3. Are they dedicated to lettings only or is lettings an offshoot of their estate agency?
                      4. Do you feel they pay attention to what you say, what you need and your concerns?
                      5. Do they take time to be with you, visit your property and spend some time advising you?
                      6. When they come to your property, do they come at the agreed time? Be wary of agents (and anyone really) making excuses for not turning up or who turn up more than a few mins late without a very good reason.
                      7. Do they take their time with you inside your property and advising you on things?
                      8. Do they explain the options you have, the legal aspects to consider and the minimum considerations you must have in and done to the home before you can rent out the home?
                      9. Are their rental valuations about the same as others? Beware of those that are much higher as cowboy agents overvalue rent levels to get landlords on their books, but later those landlords find that the rent they get or have to reduce to from those agents is what the other agents quoted originally.
                      10. Do they charge renewal/continuation fees? If yes, don't use them.
                      11. Are their tenancy agreements comprehensive and easy for you to understand? If not, can they explain those things you don't understand?
                      12. Do they charge tenants no or anything more than minor admin charges? if they charge 75 or more per person, they are unlikely to be a scrupulous agent.
                      13. What do their offices look like? Is it welcoming and are the other staff friendly?

                      That's a few things to get you started.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ADD
                        14. Do they hold clients' money (e.g. rent received) in a segregated ring-fenced client account, labelled as such?
                        15. Do they hold firm-wide indemnity insurance?
                        16. [Beyond item 11] Is their documentation (Agency/Tenancy Agreements etc.) well-presented and free of errors (legal, spelling, and grammar)?
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Going back to Two hoots original questions. He needs to take note that if he uses the agent for tenant finding only and he does not let the agent sell him a load of extras he could sort out himself.

                          This morning an ARLA agent I have used before just tried to stiff me £55 for an inferior tenancy agreement. I have provided my own - and likewise an EPC. Interestingly the agent tried to get me to issue a Section 21 at same time!! - That's another thread I know.



                          Freedom at the point of zero............

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry guys but this is a vote against using an agent. Why do you need one in this case? There is obviously interest in the property. OP should go with instincts, show around those he thinks are OK, get them fully and comprehensively credit checked and get references....You can, of course, refuse anyone you don't want in your house - I think it is best to stay in control! (But I have been told I am a bit of a control freak, so draw your own conclusions!)
                            Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I don't call two phone calls 'interest' in the property. Twohoots said they did not sound like the sort he wanted to let to so that put him back to zero applicants.

                              Like you I am also a control freak but like to have the qualified prospective tenants lined up for me to choose giving me time to do other things.



                              Freedom at the point of zero............

                              Comment

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