Professionals occupy a significant portion of the private rented sector. They’re a prize target for landlords, because they’re reliable, keep the property in a good condition, and stay for a fair amount of time. But you won’t secure these valuable tenants by accident, so we’ve put together 10 top tips for attracting and keeping professional tenants:
Are they post-grads, or a professional family? You need to establish the tenant’s needs, to allow you to match your property accordingly.
If you’re advertising on sites like Rightmove or Zoopla, photos are vital to draw a tenant to your property. Make sure they are taken in good light, and the property is clean and tidy. You need to make sure the advert is clear, concise and, most importantly, accurate!
Your letting agent must understand your needs and be able to reflect this in how they market and manage your property. Make sure they’re professional and trustworthy, and abide by professional standards with correct legal agreements. The best way to do this is by checking which bodies or schemes they belong to, for example NALS or ARLA.
To attract your desired tenants, you need to make sure that your rent is competitive. It needs to be reasonable, realistic, and reviewed regularly. Have a look at other properties in the area to give you an idea of the level of rent you might look to charge.
Appeal to your target market and focus the décor on this market. Desirable characteristics include a clean, tidy property with reasonable fittings and neutral décor. Consider whether to furnish your property, or leave it unfurnished. Long-term professional tenants, for example, might want to make the property more homely by filling it with their own furniture, and so will be looking for an unfurnished property.
Good tenants know what they want from a property and will come prepared to ask questions. Make sure you know your property – expect to be asked about bin collection dates, energy providers, and council tax bands. Finally, make the viewing easy for the potential tenant by ensuring there is available parking and easy access.
Be transparent with your tenants about the checks you will do. Good tenants will probably be proud of their squeaky clean records, so this shouldn't really be an issue. Checks include landlord and employment references, as well as credit checks. Ask to see proof of these if the checks are done by a letting agent, and meet your tenants before they move in.
Keeping on top of maintenance and dealing with any issues quickly is vital to maintaining a strong landlord/tenant relationship. Make sure you and your tenants are clear on who is responsible for repairs in the property, as well as providing clear contact details should they need to make a repair request.
Your presentation is just as important as the tenants, you need to demonstrate that you are professional and know what you're doing. Be open, friendly and honest when showing them around the property, and keep this going throughout the tenancy.
Always ask your tenants for feedback on the property. As it’s often not a property that you’ve lived in, you might not know the problems that a tenant deals with on a day to day basis that could be easily fixed.
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