The key to success as a landlord is to find excellent tenants who will save you time, money and void periods by paying their rent on time and looking after the property properly.

Whilst it may be tempting to find somebody yourself, a good lettings agent will minimise the above risks due to various due diligence they put in place. Organisation and excellent communication skills are also paramount, so our lettings team at Hancock & Partners have provided some of the processes we undertake to ensure our landlords have the greatest chance of finding the very best of tenants.

Market far and wide

The more people we can attract to our homes for let, the more likely we are going to find a good tenant. We market our properties on all of the key portals, as well as social media and window cards.

Ensure our properties are in good order

Excellent tenants will only be attracted to homes that are in good order. We work closely with our landlords to make sure their property is looking its best. Up to date bathrooms and kitchens, nice décor, attractive gardens and ensuring landlords keep on top of repairs and maintenance all go a long way in helping to attract good tenants. Well kept properties are also maintained better by tenants, we find.

Encourage our landlords to consider pets

Many tenants have pets, even more so now as a result of the pandemic, so we try and encourage our landlords to allow them. There are many benefits for doing so, and generally people with pets are responsible which means they are more likely to respect the property. They also understand how hard it is to find a pet-friendly home, and therefore tend to go the extra mile to be the perfect tenant. We check with their previous landlords if there were any issues with their pets, and sometimes even ask for vet references, but by offering pet friendly accommodation, we have found this does attract far more good quality long-term tenants.

Get to know the tenant

We like to know our registered tenants by asking them lots of questions and meeting with them in person so that we can get a good idea of their character, why they are moving, how long they plan to rent for and so on. This is much harder to do when not meeting face-to-face. Gut instinct is always key here so if we feel that something seems a little off, we will politely tell them that we are unable to help.

Conduct background checks

This is a crucial task to prove if a tenant is trustworthy or going to be a nightmare. As part of our checks we verify income by asking to see recent bank statements and find out where they work so we can speak to their employer to confirm what they have provided is correct. We also do credit checks, and ask for references from previous landlords to confirm they have always paid on time and didn’t leave the premises a state. We also see how often they move around. Ultimately, we want to minimise any sort of financial loss for our landlords, so we will always prioritise stable tenants who don’t move home regularly, whilst making sure they can afford the rent and pay it on time.

Check I.D

Legally, tenants have to be allowed to live in the UK – it’s called a ‘right to rent.’ We therefore ask for copies of passports and any immigration paperwork, otherwise our landlords risk a hefty fine if it transpires one of their tenants shouldn’t be in the country.

Organise a security deposit

Technically landlords don’t have to take deposits, however we strongly recommend they do. Plus, good responsible tenants will understand that an upfront deposit is required. There is now a deposit cap of 5 weeks’ rent equivalent under £50,000 per annum, which came into play on 1st June 2019, and this does need to be protected in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme within thirty days of receiving it. If any of our tenant applicants object, we do not proceed with them.

Write a contract

For the protection of everybody, we write a shorthold tenancy agreement to sign. These are very useful because they set out in clear terms the rights and responsibilities of the tenant (and landlord). Again, responsible tenants will understand the need for this and be happy to sign one.

Find Out More

A good letting agent can do all of the hard work for you to maximise your chances of finding great tenants for the long-term, and speed up the process. Demand is very strong in Chichester, so even if we did get a bad vibe off somebody there’s no need to panic – you will find other tenants. For more information about we can help find you the right one for your home, you can get in touch here today.