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

If you’ve found yourself here, 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.

You don’t need a high-street letting agent or their extortionate fees!

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. It’s all nonsense.

All agents provide us with is a service which most landlords 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.

How cheap finding tenants can be

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 between £0 – £100.

The reality is, the internet has made it incredibly easy (and cheap) for landlords to find and market their own properties without the use of a traditional high-street letting agents. One of the biggest enquiry generators for letting agents are UK property portals like Rightmove & Zoopla, but we don’t need them in order to get our property on there, we can do it ourselves through self-service Online Letting Agents.

Believe me, long gone are those days where we need to walk into a letting agents office and rely on their notably poor service and unjustified pricing structure (which are famous for being riddled with hidden fees). And that’s because we now have resources available at our disposable- the same resources professional letting agents use- to do the job ourselves, only with more care. Bear in mind, agents do get it wrong. Frequently. So why pay them to find a tenant when there are no guarantees they’ll be any good (after all, that’s all landlords really want, good tenants)?

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 out there.

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. Remember, if you’re using an agent, and they get this part wrong, it will cost YOU, not the agent.

The best we can do is minimise the risks, and the best way to accomplish that is by thorough tenant referencing, 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…

Articles on Marketing & Finding tenants

I like My Tenant. But What Makes A Good Tenant?

I like My Tenant. But What Makes A Good Tenant?

20 Oct 2016 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 79 Comments

As this cesspit has grown and absurdly managed to attract more eyes than it deserves, it’s birthed reason for many industry-related folk to reach out and ‘talk business’. Folk that ordinarily wouldn’t spit on on my pecker if it were on fire, let alone help me glue it back together once the flames have been […]

NEVER Overestimate The Value Of Tenant Guarantors

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12 Sep 2016 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 23 Comments

I had this whole other blog post lined-up. It was about nothing. Seriously, absolutely nothing, just mindless drivel. It wouldn’t have helped anyone with anything, other than pass time on the crapper. It was going to be a prissy little piece on ‘why I like my current tenant‘. The idea of it was so painfully […]

List Of Online Letting Agents & Reviews

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04 Apr 2016 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 53 Comments

What is an Online letting agent? Simply, they’re letting agents that don’t have shop-fronts, they operate purely online. The most reputable (and recommendable) online agents have a fully-dedicated support team which can be easily contacted via phone or email, so you’re not just dealing with a dormant website and automated responses- you actually are dealing […]

Upad.co.uk Online Agent Review & £40 Discount Code

Upad.co.uk Online Agent Review & £40 Discount Code

03 Mar 2016 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 10 Comments

Upad Discount Code / eVoucher Upad are currently offering propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk readers a FREE £40 eVoucher which can be used on any Upad listing service (detailed further down this page). Their most popular tenant-only service is normally £100 (+ VAT), but you can get it for £60 (+ VAT) with this gift card. Simply click on […]

How Landlords Can Advertise Rentals On Rightmove

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22 Jan 2016 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 218 Comments

Literally save thousands of pounds on letting agent fees! Are you currently in the process of looking for tenants for your rental property, or are you soon to be in that position? Are you looking to bypass extortionate letting agent fees? Do you want to list your vacant rental property on Rightmove, Zoopla and the […]

How To Find Tenants For Commercial Properties Cheaply

How To Find Tenants For Commercial Properties Cheaply

31 Dec 2015 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 0 Comments

Literally save thousands of pounds when letting your Commercial Property with an Online Commercial Letting Agent! Quick point: My local high-street letting agent wanted to charge £4,400 + VAT for finding a commercial tenant, an online agent charged £160 + VAT for the exact same service! Let me explain how and where… The process for […]

OpenRent Online Letting Agent Review & Free Trial Offer 2016

OpenRent Online Letting Agent Review & Free Trial Offer 2016

01 May 2015 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 26 Comments

Current OpenRent Special Offer OpenRent are currently offering a FREE 5 day trial for their tenant-find service, which includes getting your vacant property listed on Rightmove! No strings attached (as the review below explains). Click for the FREE Rightmove Offer Enjoy :) The purpose of this blog post is to provide clarity by answering some […]

FREE Webinar! Online Letting Agents & Finding Tenants Quickly Explained!

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16 Apr 2015 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 13 Comments

I’m going to try something new here. This could all go horribly wrong. A ballsy move because I’m no too fond of change, especially when I’ve already got a winning formula here, which generally consists of me complaining about something utterly trivial and subsequently divulge how miserable my landlord life is, while you sit back […]

My Tenant/Lodger Paid Her Deposit But Didn’t Move in

My Tenant/Lodger Paid Her Deposit But Didn’t Move in

30 Jul 2014 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 23 Comments

Bit of an odd one. It’s personally never happened to me, but I imagine it’s far short of being unbelievably uncommon. This morning (Tuesday), just like most others, I was going through my early morning ritual of being totally unorganised, obscenely late and ill-prepared for my day. But Tuesday is always a little bit different […]

Visum Review 2016- Online Letting Agent

Visum Review 2016- Online Letting Agent

23 Feb 2014 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 0 Comments

I guess you’re here because you want to know more about Visum, but specifically, whether they’re above board or one of the many cowboys parading around as a legitimate operation. Visum is one of about a thousand Online Letting Agents out there. Over the recent years, online agents have been emerging thick and fast, like […]

Get Your Property On Rightmove If You’re Looking For Tenants

Get Your Property On Rightmove If You’re Looking For Tenants

11 Jul 2013 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 16 Comments

A few days ago I had some letting agent shister shamelessly promote his own company under a fake alias on my blog by masquerading as a satisfied customer. That kind of embarrassing marketing tactic is unsurprisingly common, especially among estate/letting agents. He left his comments over in my How To Privately Sell Your House On […]

Early Signs Of Potentially Awful Tenants

Early Signs Of Potentially Awful Tenants

08 Apr 2013 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 25 Comments

Early signs…[/caption]I don’t know if old age has made me stupid crazy, or whether it’s just the toll of having dealt with one too many total dip-shit tenants, but I seem to get increasingly rigorous and perceptive with every viewing I take with prospective tenants. As I’ve said many times in the past, the thought […]

Why Is Upad More Expensive & Are They Worth The Extra £50?

Why Is Upad More Expensive & Are They Worth The Extra £50?

24 Jul 2012 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 10 Comments

Yesterday morning I battled through the carnage of London rush-hour to meet the beautiful folks behind the “UK’s largest online letting agent”, Upad.co.uk. That’s their cheesy slogan, not my attempt of flattery. The purpose of the visit was to primarily discuss how they had given me the nickname, “the angry landlord”, and secondly, to develop […]

Tenant Referencing Guide For Landlords

Tenant Referencing Guide For Landlords

09 Nov 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 14 Comments

With so many landlords getting royally screwed by rogue tenants, particularly in this tough economic climate, I’m still surprised by the amount of landlords that are so cavalier about their tenant referencing methods, or more worryingly, the complete lack there of. It’s almost like they want to get screwed (not in the good way). Needless […]

How Landlords Should Find Tenants Without A Letting Agent

How Landlords Should Find Tenants Without A Letting Agent

11 Aug 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 11 Comments

Finding tenants yourself! Over the last few years I’ve written crazy amounts of blog posts about how landlords, even the most novice, can successfully find a tenant without using letting agents for the purpose of saving £1000’s on fees. The best way to get started is by sniffing through the following… A Guide to finding […]

LettingAProperty.com Discount Code & Review 2016

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22 Jun 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 4 Comments

Lettingaproperty.com Discount Code Lettingaproperty.com are currently offering our readers deals on the following packages: Bronze Package £10 DISCOUNT for their most popular bronze package. The normal price is £99 (VAT included), but you can get it for £89 (VAT included). Get £10 discount I recently used the website lettingaproperty.com to advertise a vacant BTL property […]

I Finally Received An Enquiry From Tepilo

I Finally Received An Enquiry From Tepilo

29 Mar 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 6 Comments

Back in October 2010 I was in the midst of finding tenants for a vacant property of mine. Some of you may remember that I tried using Sarah Beeny’s property portal, Tepilo, to fill the vacant spot. “Tried” being the operative word. The whole experience was a complete failure. I didn’t receive a single enquiry […]

How Landlords Can Avoid Gumtree’s ‘Bump’ Fee And ‘2 Free Rental Ads Per Year’ Limit

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11 Mar 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 37 Comments

Chaps, ladies, children… I think I finally know what it feels like to be happily married for several years, only for the marriage to result in an unexpected divorce because it became apparent my bitch of a partner only wanted me for my money. The experience is every bit painful as they say it is. […]

8 Ways To Help Find Tenants Quickly

8 Ways To Help Find Tenants Quickly

09 Feb 2011 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 7 Comments

Here’s the thing. A vacant BTL is expensive. Nosebleed expensive! Literally, every single day our BTL goes by unoccupied is costing us money. We still have bills to pay, which mostly consists of the general running costs of any property e.g. utility bills, council tax and mortgage payments etc. Those bills are relentless! So while […]

Tips For Landlords With Empty Properties Between Tenants

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21 Oct 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 15 Comments

Typically, when a tenant moves out, there’s a short period when the property remains empty before the new batch moves in. Every landlord should be trying to minimize that emptiness because it costs money. However, even when minimized, there’s usually still a short empty period; perhaps a few days, maybe even a few weeks. That’s […]

The Results Of Referencing Prospective Tenants On Facebook

The Results Of Referencing Prospective Tenants On Facebook

18 Oct 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 10 Comments

Holy shit. Oh, the coincidence. So, check it… I recently wrote a blog post about how I use Facebook as part of my tenant referencing methods. Basically, when someone applies to be my tenant I always try to hunt them down on Facebook, by searching for their name and/or email address. 9 times out of […]

Discount Letting (Discountletting.co.uk) Discount Code & Review

Discount Letting (Discountletting.co.uk) Discount Code & Review

13 Oct 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 14 Comments

UPDATE: This article is now out of date, Discount Lettings have ceased trading. But don’t fear, here’s a list of other Online Letting Agents! A few months ago I successfully used the Upad.co.uk platform to advertise a vacant rental property across the UK’s biggest property portals (e.g. Rightmove) in an attempt to find tenants quickly […]

I Didn’t Receive A Single Enquiry From Tepilo

I Didn’t Receive A Single Enquiry From Tepilo

04 Oct 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 27 Comments

After hearing a lot of hype from all angles about Tepilo, the all-new online letting and online estate agent, I eagerly listed a vacant rental property on their website. Tepilo is the platform created by the wonderful Sarah Beeny, so naturally it’s been heavily promoted with her mug all over the branding. The website allows […]

An Example Of How Much Extra Letting Agents Charge

An Example Of How Much Extra Letting Agents Charge

24 Sep 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 22 Comments

Since yesterday, I’ve been leading a “tenant-finding” campaign because a tenant of mine is due to vacant in the next few weeks. I’ve already placed an advert on Gumtree, Tepilo (for the first time), and I also plan on using an Online Letting Agent to get my property across all the major property portals like […]

How Landlords Can Avoid Bad Tenants

How Landlords Can Avoid Bad Tenants

27 Aug 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 21 Comments

In this crazy world someone decided to make a profession out of being a “bad tenant”, and like all crazy ideas, it caught on. These “professional bad tenants” are ruthless as they are ugly. They go from property to property without paying any rent, and they successfully do it for a living, leaving behind a […]

I Use Facebook To Reference Prospective Tenants

I Use Facebook To Reference Prospective Tenants

13 Jul 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 4 Comments

All landlords should be embracing the internet and taking advantage of all the free tools out there! EVERY landlord can prosper through the internet in one way or another; some times it’s just a case of thinking outside the box! Facebook isn’t designed to be a human directory, but that’s what it effectively is, and […]

Landlord Guide On Professional Property Photography

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28 Jun 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 11 Comments

Landlords are still getting it horrifically wrong, and I honestly don’t know why. Even worse, agents are also completely screwing it up, and they’re the professionals (which mostly charge ludicrous amounts, but that’s another story). I’m always left bewildered whenever I jump onto Rightmove/Zoopla (or any other property portal) and see vacant properties with hideous […]

Give Prospective Tenants The Benefit Of Doubt At Your Own Risk

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02 Mar 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 3 Comments

A landlord can never be sure how good or bad a tenant is going to be until they actually move in and take residency for a few months. But there are certain steps a landlord can take to ensure they’re minimizing their risk of harbouring poor tenants E.g. getting a credit check. I personally believe […]

Landlords And Tenants Shouldn’t Neglect The “Wanted” Section

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09 Feb 2010 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 3 Comments

The traditional way for prospective tenants to find accommodation would be to walk into a letting agent, look in the local paper, scan through local advertising boards, or look through various online portals e.g. Gumtree. All these methods have one thing in common, it’s the Landlord doing the marketing. But it doesn’t have to be […]

17 Ways Landlords Can Find Tenants For Free

17 Ways Landlords Can Find Tenants For Free

01 Oct 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 10 Comments

1] Landlord Portals Here’s A List Of Free Websites Where Landlords Can Advertise Their BTL 2] Leaflets and Flyers Get creative on your PC and create a simple leaflet that you can post through local mail boxes. Keep it simple, don’t try to be Leonardo De Vinci, you will only screw it up. 3] Word […]

Make Your Own ‘To Let’ Sign To Help Market Your Property

Make Your Own ‘To Let’ Sign To Help Market Your Property

14 Sep 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 6 Comments

I recently read an article on the Telegraph website about a vendor trying to unload his £30million mansion. For some reason the vendor chose to neglect the expertise of an agent, consequently independently took charge of the marketing. Estate agency fees are usually about 2.5 per cent; by marketing the property without instructing an agent, […]

How To Make Your Rental More Appealing To Increase Tenant Interest

How To Make Your Rental More Appealing To Increase Tenant Interest

18 Aug 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 13 Comments

Somewhere, although I can’t remember quite where, I’ve already dribbled about how the BTL market is insanely tough for landlords right now, so I won’t delve into the specifics too much. But basically, demand isn’t as great as supply blah blah blah, consequently tenants are being spoilt for choice with the abundance of vacant properties […]

Guide For Landlords That Don’t Want To Use Letting Agents

Guide For Landlords That Don’t Want To Use Letting Agents

24 Jun 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 19 Comments

This guide is specifically aimed to help new landlords that don’t want to use letting agents and pay their fees (which can often be extortionate!). A common misconception is that letting agents provide us with a skill set which can’t be duplicated by the average landlord. We assume that they have an advantage over us […]

List of Websites Where Landlords Can Find Tenants For FREE

List of Websites Where Landlords Can Find Tenants For FREE

12 May 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 37 Comments

Yes, apparently there is such a thing as a ‘free lunch’. There are plenty of landlord portals out there that provide a free service for landlords to advertise their BTL property in order to find tenants. I’ve had a lot of success with the free services, so I thought i’d share my joy. Granted, the […]

I Found Tenants With Gumtree Again

I Found Tenants With Gumtree Again

07 Apr 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 5 Comments

I guess this is another post about how awesome I think Gumtree is for finding tenants. I swear to God, I don’t work for them, nor am I involved in any kind of affiliate partnership. I just like giving credit where credit is due. Gumtree delivered the goods again, so here’s the credit… My regular […]

My Experience With Letmatch To Advertise A BTL On Rightmove

My Experience With Letmatch To Advertise A BTL On Rightmove

31 Mar 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 28 Comments

UPDATE: This article is now out of date, Letmatch have now stopped trading. Please go here, How Landlords Can Advertise And Find Tenants On Popular Websites Like Rightmove for an updated and more useful article on how to market your BTL on Rightmove. Ok, a while back I wrote a blog post about how landlords […]

Finding Tenants Without Letting Agents Does Work!

Finding Tenants Without Letting Agents Does Work!

23 Mar 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 7 Comments

For a while now, I’ve put the idea out there that landlords can avoid letting agent fees by finding tenants for themselves. It’s a great way to save A LOT of money, and it’s generally a great way to capture landlording/business/people experience. I’ve avoided letting agents for the past few years, primarily because of how […]

Beware Of Dodgy Tenancy Applications Via Email

Beware Of Dodgy Tenancy Applications Via Email

05 Mar 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 5 Comments

I got an email from a chap called Steve earlier, and he was wondering whether this rental accommodation application he received via email was genuine: Hello, Thanks so much for your email and its quite understanding.MY DAUGHTER WILL BE ARRIVING ON THE 23th of MARCH, i have gone thru the advert one more time and […]

Guide On How Landlord’s Should Advertise On Gumtree

Guide On How Landlord’s Should Advertise On Gumtree

02 Mar 2009 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 14 Comments

I’ve mentioned several times before in various blog posts that I’m a huge fan of Gumtree when it comes to advertising properties for rent. If ANY Landlord is looking to avoid letting agent fees, I would highly recommend trying out Gumtree to get enquiries from prospective tenants. I don’t think Gumtree should be the one […]

The Worst Tenant Application EVER

The Worst Tenant Application EVER

07 Aug 2008 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 7 Comments

The other day I think I received, what I believe to be, the worst tenant application, EVER. Why? Because this is how she introduced herself to me… hi i was interested in the house you want to rent out, thing is i need to know if you accept dss. iv been living with my mum […]

The Best And Worst Types Of Tenants

The Best And Worst Types Of Tenants

21 Apr 2008 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 18 Comments

The thing about finding good tenants is that it’s all about odds. Granted, you have to be one assuming son-of-a-bitch and play the game of odds. For example, the odds of getting trouble from an employed professional worker compared to an unemployed bum are extremely slim. Of course, that won’t always be the case, but […]

Presenting The Perfect Rental Property To Prospective Tenants

Presenting The Perfect Rental Property To Prospective Tenants

09 Nov 2007 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 0 Comments

The gaudy 70’s carpet has gone, the hideous net curtains have been dumped and the flaky woodwork has been repaired. The house is perfect and you’re feeling proud. But it’s empty. So what do you do? Do you leave it empty so your prospective tenant can see what floor space they have to work with […]

Taking In Lodgers- ‘Rent-A-Room’ Scheme Guide For Landlords

Taking In Lodgers- ‘Rent-A-Room’ Scheme Guide For Landlords

11 Oct 2007 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 170 Comments

Ever considered taking in a lodger? A lodger can be a great way of generating income; many thousands of homeowners earn extra income in this way. Interested? Let’s take a look at the details… Page contents: The positives of taking in a lodger The negatives of taking in a lodger The Rent a Room scheme […]

There’s No Point Using Letting Agents

There’s No Point Using Letting Agents

13 Sep 2007 / ‘How To Find Tenants’ Guide For Landlords / 25 Comments

When the rental market is booming, why use a letting agent? It makes no sense. They charge extortionate rates for doing very little work. So why not CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN? Currently, there’s been a lot of articles in the news about the serious drought of properties to rent. Supply simply isn’t meeting demand […]