🙋 Landlord’s Question:
Over the last two years I have had four different tenants in my rental property in Tamworth.
Each of them seemed great tenants until they moved in and then they became the tenant from hell!!!I’ve had damage to the property, rent not being paid, being called out in the early hours due to lost keys and today to cap it all…being called out at 3am to change a light bulb.
What am I doing wrong? Why am I attracting these type of tenants and will this be my future?”
It certainly looks as if you’ve had a run of bad luck choosing your tenants. But if you ask any landlord they will all say they’ve been there and got the tee shirt, as I myself have, you learn from your mistakes and move on. What I would say is, don’t let this put you off. I have a few steps that I will gladly share which will help you to look for and choose the right tenant for you and your property.
The demand for rental property In Tamworth far outweighs the supply, so just looking at that, you can afford to be picky with the type of tenant you would like to rent your property.
Step One – Viewings
The first thing I would do is arrange a viewing. Under no circumstances let the property to anyone without them physically seeing it and meeting you at the property, sending a friend to view in their absence is a NO NO! The person who will be signing the tenancy needs to view the property.
During the viewing you will get a gut feeling for the tenant. I always conduct my own viewings as I
ask certain questions over the course of what seems like normal chit chat, but really I am making mental notes and deciding if this is the right tenant for this property.
Step Two – References
I always make them aware at the viewing that I will need to carry out a credit check, income and previous landlord references and I ensure that these are always carried out. You need to know the kind of tenant who will be moving into your property. It’s easier to inform at viewings to see how they react. If they say they have no CCJs and their credit is fine and then they fail, I would not go ahead with that tenancy. However, if they are upfront with you, telling you that they don’t think their credit is good, and then they fail, well it’s down to your gut feelings. If they are being upfront and honest about knowing they have poor credit, at least you know that they have no intention to deceive you. Second chance and all that!!!!
Step Three – Miss Marple to the Rescue
It’s a good idea to visit them at their current address and get a feel for how they live, are they looking after the property, is the home clean, their current living conditions tells you a lot!
You could check their Facebook profile to build a better idea of the type of tenant you might be moving into your property. A little bit of detective work could pay dividends.
Step Four – Maintaining your Tenant Landlord Relationship
Having found the right tenant, let them move in and then schedule an inspection for say 2 months into the tenancy, you only want to ensure that they have settled in, not that you are being nosey. After the initial inspection I always schedule inspection visits at six monthly intervals. Should any issues arise during the inspection, you can address them there and then.
Step Five – Those Needy Tenants
It’s quite common that private landlords feel obliged to change light bulbs etc. Consumables should not be the landlords responsibility, so check your tenancy agreement and make a list of the things that you as the landlord are responsible for and the type of things that the tenant is responsible for. Send this information to the tenant, politely pointing out that should the tenant call you out for a minor job which falls under their remit, then your call out rate is say £50.00 in normal working hours. Point out that this includes locking themselves out and if called out of hours, your rate is in excess of £50.00.
As with all letter to tenants, send this letter and get proof of posting via the post office, or for peace of mind post it through the door and have a friend come with you to take a picture of you posting it.
We don’t want to scare tenants off from reporting issues with the property but, at the end of the day, you are running a business and need to treat your buy to lets as such. Putting a little time aside each month to sort those maintenance issues and small repairs will benefit you in the long run, rather than having a massive pay out at the end of a long let. I always urge our tenants to report any maintenance issues as soon as they arise so the property is kept up to scratch.
I hope this information helps you in finding your next tenants and your run of back luck improves.
If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.
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