How to get the best tenants for the longest tenancy periods
When you’re building a property portfolio and seeking to maximise the profit from your rental income, how much easier would it be if you knew the factors that tenants consider to be most important when renting? It takes the guesswork out of the business of being a buy-to-let landlord. You’ll be able to attract the best tenants, charge them the highest rent, and suffer from fewer costly void periods. Here are what tenants tell us is most important to them.
The condition of your property – their home
Number one on the list is a property’s condition (and how it is maintained).
People want to live in comfortable, well-decorated homes. They want to live in a home to which they are happy to invite friends and family. It’s got to look good as well as do the job it should – provide warmth and shelter. Items that are important to a tenant when considering the condition of a property include:
- The state of carpets and flooring
- The condition of painted and papered walls
- Doors open and close smoothly, and all locks are in good working order
- Windows are well fitted, with no drafts (or cracked glass)
- Garden fences and gates are in a good state of repair
- Plenty of storage space
- White goods are clean and working
- Central heating is in good working order
- Bathroom is clean and mould free
- No dripping taps
When considering the condition of your property, think about the type of tenant you want. The best tenants want the best property. And you want the best tenants. Those who will take care of your property. If you wouldn’t want to stay on your property very long – if you wouldn’t want to make it your home – it’s unlikely that you’ll get good tenants.
The quality of the landlord
We also find that the best tenants are concerned about the quality of the landlord or property manager. They want to know that they will be able to contact the landlord in emergencies and that maintenance and repair work will be carried out effectively and efficiently.
Tenants may not be looking for a new best friend, but they do want a friendly relationship with their landlord. They want to know that you care, about both your property and them.
You’ll also need to ensure that your tenant’s deposit is handled correctly. It must be kept in a tenancy deposit protection scheme and returned promptly should the tenant vacate and leave the property in a good state of repair in line with the tenancy agreement.
We find that most tenants are amiable and well mannered, but you always get the one that kicks up a stink. Often this is at an ungodly hour on a Saturday or Sunday. You must always stay calm and collected. You’ll need to be able to negotiate with tenants, talk politely no matter what the provocation, and deal with tradespeople, too.
If you’re the type of person who finds it hard to remain calm in all circumstances, then you should probably consider letting an investment property manager take the strain.
Location of property
Tenants are also concerned about the location of the property. This is a much more personal consideration, depending on the type of tenant you are renting to:
- Young professionals are most likely to want to live in the heart of things, near to nightlife and transport hubs.
- Families desire homes with gardens, near schools and recreation facilities such as sports clubs, playgrounds, and places to walk and cycle.
- Older tenants, those whose families have grown and flown, are much more like young professionals in many ways. While their nightclubbing days may be behind them, they want homes that are easy to travel to and that are within a short distance of shops, restaurants, and bars.
Find the right area, and then consider the best location in that area to attract your target tenant.
Value for money
Here’s what could mark out your property as premium quality. Tenants want value for money. What does this mean? Well, it means a property that is in good condition, and that is in the right location. It also means having a good relationship with the landlord, and that the landlord cares for their property.
Value for money is also found in offering a little extra. For example:
- Apartments with communal spaces.
- Outside storage.
- Parking and additional services.
- For some tenants, having bills such as council tax and utility bills included in the rent may be important
- Free broadband or satellite TV also adds value, as does allowing pets and an annual deep cleaning service
- Offering longer tenancies may also appeal to many tenants
- An easy repair reporting system