Complete Guide: How to Find Tenants for Your Rental Property

Finding Good Tenants

If you’ve found yourself here, it means you’re likely trying to market your rental property in order to find good tenants, all without the help of our beloved traditional high-street letting agent. Wise decision. You’ve come to the right place, probably.

In this section, I discuss all the steps required to find quality tenants quickly:

  • Why you don’t need to use a traditional high street letting agent (and how much cheaper it is without using one)
  • Marketing a rental property (which includes how to advertise on the UK’s biggest property portals like Rightmove & Zoopla in order to maximise enquiries!)
  • How to reference tenants the right way (so you avoid nightmare and crippling tenants)!
  • Plus a lot of practical tips & tricks!

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 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 an agent in order to get our property on there, we can do it ourselves through self-service Online Letting Agents, the biggest being OpenRent.

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 disposal – 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!

Do you need to use all the methods listed? Not necessarily. But obviously the more methods you utilise to market your property, the more enquiries you’re likely to receive.

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 the alternative is getting lumbered with a parasite that will cut through your time, sanity and profits like smouldering butter. And believe you me, there’s certainly no shortage of parasites 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 through your own (un)experienced hands, there are always poor tenants slipping through the net.

Alas, the rental sector is rife with opportunists looking to get away with murder, so it’s our responsibility as landlords to ensure we stay clear from them. While there is no silver-bullet solution to avoiding bad tenants altogether, we can certainly stack the favour in our odds by being vigilant, particularly during the referencing phase.

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

How To Advertise Property For Rent On Rightmove 223

How To Advertise Property For Rent On Rightmove

Marketing A Rental Property (How To Generate Loads Of Leads) 0

Marketing A Rental Property (How To Generate Loads Of Leads)

How To Screen Tenants Property (Insight From A Landlord) 0

How To Screen Tenants Property (Insight From A Landlord)

Are Landlords Allowed To Ask For Bank Statements & Payslips? 0

Are Landlords Allowed To Ask For Bank Statements & Payslips?

Finding HMO Tenants & Management Services 1

Finding HMO Tenants & Management Services

Best Websites To Find Student Tenants Rental Properties 0

Best Websites To Find Student Tenants Rental Properties

Should You Rent Your Property To Friends & Family? If So, How? 2

Should You Rent Your Property To Friends & Family? If So, How?

Upad Has Risen From The Ashes – But Should You Use Their Service Today? 27

Upad Has Risen From The Ashes – But Should You Use Their Service Today?

Landlords Should Be Advertising Rentals On Facebook Marketplace! 32

Landlords Should Be Advertising Rentals On Facebook Marketplace!

Here Are The Best TWO Upad.co.uk Alternatives 0

Here Are The Best TWO Upad.co.uk Alternatives

How Landlords Can (And Need To) Reduce Tenant Referencing Costs! 40

How Landlords Can (And Need To) Reduce Tenant Referencing Costs!

Sorry Housesimple, I Can’t Even Recommend Your Letting Services To My Worst Enemy! 50

Sorry Housesimple, I Can’t Even Recommend Your Letting Services To My Worst Enemy!

NEVER Believe The Crap Tenants Promise During Viewings 81

NEVER Believe The Crap Tenants Promise During Viewings

The £69 Tenant-Find Service All Landlords Should Know About! 3

The £69 Tenant-Find Service All Landlords Should Know About!

Why Isn’t My Property Renting? I’ll Tell You Why! 30

Why Isn’t My Property Renting? I’ll Tell You Why!

8 Reasons Why Landlords Should Take Their Own Viewings 77

8 Reasons Why Landlords Should Take Their Own Viewings

How Do I Find Short-Term Tenants/Guests (Under 6 Months)? 4

How Do I Find Short-Term Tenants/Guests (Under 6 Months)?

Is It Worth Splurging On A Rightmove Premium Or Featured Listing? 1

Is It Worth Splurging On A Rightmove Premium Or Featured Listing?

WTF Is Up With All These Dogshit Tenancy Enquiries I’m Receiving? 103

WTF Is Up With All These Dogshit Tenancy Enquiries I’m Receiving?

When Landlords Can’t Find Replacement Tenants! 14

When Landlords Can’t Find Replacement Tenants!

I like My Tenant. But What Makes A Good Tenant? 89

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

NEVER Completely Rely On Tenant Guarantors 23

NEVER Completely Rely On Tenant Guarantors

How To Find Tenants For Commercial Properties Cheaply 8

How To Find Tenants For Commercial Properties Cheaply

Get Your Property On Rightmove If You’re Looking For Tenants 16

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

Early Signs Of Potentially Awful Tenants 34

Early Signs Of Potentially Awful Tenants

The Pains Of Scheduling Property Viewings With Tenants 17

The Pains Of Scheduling Property Viewings With Tenants

How Landlords Should Take Photos For An Inventory 21

How Landlords Should Take Photos For An Inventory

How Much Rent Should I Charge My Tenants? 12

How Much Rent Should I Charge My Tenants?

How & Why Landlords Should Find Tenants Without A Letting Agent 13

How & Why Landlords Should Find Tenants Without A Letting Agent

I Finally Received An Enquiry From Tepilo 6

I Finally Received An Enquiry From Tepilo

Tips For Landlords With Empty Rental Properties Between Tenants 27

Tips For Landlords With Empty Rental Properties Between Tenants

The Results Of Referencing Prospective Tenants On Facebook 11

The Results Of Referencing Prospective Tenants On Facebook

How To Choose Between Prospective Tenants- Which? 9

How To Choose Between Prospective Tenants- Which?

Landlord Letting Agent Fees & Much Cheaper Alternatives 31

Landlord Letting Agent Fees & Much Cheaper Alternatives

How Landlords Can Avoid Bad Tenants 28

How Landlords Can Avoid Bad Tenants

I Use Facebook To Reference Prospective Tenants 4

I Use Facebook To Reference Prospective Tenants

Landlord Guide On Professional Property Photography 17

Landlord Guide On Professional Property Photography

Guide For Landlords That Don’t Want To Use Letting Agents 30

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

Websites Where Landlords Can Find Tenants For FREE 39

Websites Where Landlords Can Find Tenants For FREE

I Found Tenants With Gumtree Again – But Should Landlords Use Gumtree? 5

I Found Tenants With Gumtree Again – But Should Landlords Use Gumtree?

Beware Of Dodgy Email Tenancy Applications 5

Beware Of Dodgy Email Tenancy Applications

Guide On How Landlord’s Should Advertise On Gumtree 15

Guide On How Landlord’s Should Advertise On Gumtree

Possibly The Worst Tenant Application EVER 7

Possibly The Worst Tenant Application EVER

The Best And Worst Types Of Tenants 20

The Best And Worst Types Of Tenants

Taking In Lodgers- ‘Rent-A-Room’ Scheme Guide For Landlords 198

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

I want more info on...