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Do you Make these Mistakes when Choosing Tenants?

Tuesday, 31st January 2012

Categories: Lettings

Author: Peter Barry

Choosing the right tenants will make all the difference to the success of your property business. Choose well and you could let the same property to the same tenants for years without any hassle; choose badly and you could end up with rental arrears, costly repairs to the property and irate neighbours.

Fools rush in

If your property has been on the rental market for a while, you might decide to take on the first tenants who make an offer. The temptation is to get the property rented out and paying for itself as soon as possible. However, this can be a false economy. You need to be as picky about your tenants as they are about your property and put as many checks in place as possible to ensure they have the means to pay the rent, and they haven’t caused problems for previous landlords.

Looks can be deceiving

It’s always good to trust your instincts but people can put on a good front when it comes to securing a property. Just because someone is eloquent, holds down a decent job and presents themselves well, doesn’t mean they’re going to pay the rent on time. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go a little on first impressions – they can count for a lot. That’s why it’s important to personally meet any new tenants before they move in.

Promising the world

Don’t make rash promises about new furniture, fresh décor or extra appliances, just to secure a good tenant. If you have agreed to fix, change or add anything to the property as a condition of the tenants signing the contract, you are obliged to carry out those requests. So, only make promises you know you can – and will – keep.

Put it in writing

If you trust your tenants, you might be tempted to keep things casual but this is a big mistake. Always draw up a rental agreement, to be signed by both parties, and always take a deposit before they move in. This gives you and your tenants a legal standing, and shows a level of commitment to the tenancy.

Use an agency

Although there will be extra fees involved, the time and effort saved can make this worthwhile. A dedicated agency will chase up references, run credit checks and they can also arrange for deposits to be collected on your behalf. If you’re not good at confronting problems, an agency can also act as a ‘middle man’ when it comes to disputes and financial issues.

If you want your property business to succeed then your choice of tenant is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. So, take your time and choose wisely.

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