‘Finding A Tenant’ Guide For Landlords- How To Find Tenants

Are you struggling to find a tenant or simply looking for the most efficient methods of finding a tenant? Then this might be the article for you.

If you’re reading this guide, it probably means you’re trying to find tenants without the help of a traditional high-street letting agent. Wise decision, and you’ve come to the right place for guidance.

A common misconception is that letting agents provide us with a skill set which can’t be duplicated by the average person/landlord. We assume that they have an advantage over us by having all the trade tools and resources. In reality, that;s just a smokescreen perception. All agents provide us with is a service which we don’t know enough about to confidently duplicate. But when you break it down, it’s not really that difficult or time-consuming to learn the essentials and more, which will enable us to find and manage tenants ourselves… for a fraction of the cost!! In fact, the methods I discuss in this guide won’t cost you more than £60. Now let’s compare that to prices the average high-street agent charges.

I’ve seen agents charge between 8%-15% of the rental income for their services, depending on the type of service. The most basic service agents’ offer is typically a “tenant-only” service, which is where an agent will find a tenant and leave the management role up to the landlord.

Let me show you how the figures stack up with a real example:

Let’s assume an agent has found me a tenant willing to sign a 12 month agreement. The rent is £1000 per month. Based on the lower end 8% fee, an agent would charge £960 as a fixed annual fee for their service. On top of the regular service charge, most agents charge a renewal fee, which means I would need to pay an additional annual fee if I wish to keep the same tenant after the 12 months expires. As you can see, the cost can easily escalate, and it usually does.

Over the past 5 years I haven’t used a single high-street agent, and my cost for finding tenants has been £0 – £100.

So, it’s your call, you can either spend £1000 on an agent, or learn how to do it for £0 – £100. It’s a no-brainer for me. Remember, a buy-to-let investment is a business, so it’s about keeping costs down when and where it makes sense.

How to find tenants… efficiently and cost-effectively!

Here’s a few ways landlords can maximize the chances of finding tenants efficiently and cost-effectively, consequently minimizing void periods and saving a pile of cash!

Marketing

Before even starting the finding process, you need a strategy.

Well, not quite a strategy, we’re not invading a county here. But you will need to determine what it is you’re actually offering and how you’re going to deliver it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leading the search party to find tenants, or whether you’re passing the responsibility onto a letting agent, you still need to ensure any marketing material put out there is appropriate and effective.

Referencing / Viewings

Generating enquiries is only the first step of filling your vacant property, and it’s definitely NOT the most important step.

Finding “good tenants” is key, because bad ones will chew through your time and profits, and quite possibly sink your entire investment. And trust me, there’s no shortage of bad tenants.

It doesn’t matter how or where you source a tenant, whether it be through an experienced local high-street letting agent or whether you take matters into your own (un)experienced hands, landlords are ALWAYS prone to falling victim to rogue tenants. The best we can do is minimise the risks, and something we should all be doing. Thorough tenant referencing is crucial, and that truly begins at the viewing stage.

Preparation

Before letting your property and taking viewings, there are just a few bits you need to take care of…

2 Comments- join the conversation...

Guest Avatar
Angela Kyle 12th May, 2014 @ 10:27

Hi - couldn't help a wry smile when reading your blog - I'm a prospective tenant who, due to marital breakdown, is now trying to find a local rental property - and what a nightmare it is. Over 30 years married and living in our lovely little house (now sold) which is ideally situated, I am not a young thing but a fully responsible, working lady with a small elderly dog. Is any landlord interested in renting to me while I have my four legged friend? No, they are not. I would love to meet a landlord, they can get to know me and vice versa but it's all done through the agents. Could write loads more but no space. Any advice please?

1
Guest Avatar
sunny 2nd June, 2014 @ 00:42

Hello Angela,

You can try these

www.letswithpets.org.uk/find-a-pet-friendly-letting-agency/search

www.petfriendlylettingagents.co.uk/

all the best

2

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