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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tailor-made tenants

The experts at Belvoir Lettings share their secrets on what makes tenants into ‘good tenants’ and how to attract them…

With the recent national boom in rental properties available, competition to secure the ‘best’ tenants is now stiff – but, with a bit of foresight and planning, you can always ensure you attract the right people into your property... and leave the undesirables standing at the door.

So, what makes a tenant into a ‘good’ tenant? The perfect landlord’s dream would have a secure monthly income and a responsible mature attitude, they would pay their rent on time EVERY month, treat the property with respect and be happy to look after the garden plus do minor interior maintenance – if they were also looking for a long-term tenancy you’d definitely be on to a winner!

“If you ask many landlords, a good tenant is one that pays their rent on time,” says Paul Cartwright, Proprietor of Belvoir South Hants. “However, in my experience, this is only part of it. I would add to this that a good tenant is someone who understands that all the little jobs around the house are actually their responsibility and not that of the agent or landlord. A good tenant is also someone who stays for more than six months and leaves the property in the condition that they found it (fair wear and tear excepted, of course). Plus, a good tenant understands that the agent/landlord cannot spirit boiler parts out of the air!”

But, how do we find these ‘perfect’ tenants?

“Use an agent,” says Paul. “A reputable long-established Lettings Agent will have a lot of practise at weeding out the undesirables. A landlord who lets only once or twice a year will not have the wealth of experience at recognising the signs of a less desirable tenant. Plus, present your property in the best possible condition. Good properties attract the best tenants.”

Although Paul suggests that you look out for telltale indicators that someone wouldn’t make a good tenant, he advises that you never rely on first impressions or instinct alone. “ALWAYS credit check. ALWAYS contact the employer. And, ALWAYS contact the previous landlord or agent,” says Paul. “One of our best tenants first walked into the office dressed in baggy jeans, earrings and with a skateboard under his arm. One of our worst was a company director whose business failed!”

And, of course, once you’ve found a good tenant you’ll want to hold on to them. “Retain the best tenants by maintaining the property in the best possible condition. If you look after the property, so will the tenants,” advises Paul. “Also, when the tenant reports maintenance problems, sort them immediately. If they have a problem with paying the rent be understanding but be firm. Overall, make sure you have a good working relationship with them. Landlord/tenant relationships come down to one thing – communication. The tenant must be comfortable talking to the landlord and the landlord must ensure that the tenant understands what is expected of him.”

To find your nearest Belvoir office, visit their website at

  • How to find a good tenant – at-a-glance checklist

    Get references from their previous landlords
    Credit checks
    Contact their employer
    Meet up with them in person
    Ask them about their lifestyle and occupation
    Make sure they’re happy to make their monthly payments by standing order
    Look for tenants who want long-term lets
    Take a deposit
    Buy savvy – the best tenants will be attracted to the best properties in the best areas
    Get a good management agency, such as Belvoir, to find the ‘perfect tenant’ for you


Anonymous said...

As a tenant, I'd say one of the best ways to get a good tenant is to avoid Belvoir! Having recently viewed a number of properties in a large SW town, the nastiest by far were those shown to us by Belvior. In one particularly filthy property (we retched when shown the bathroom and kitchen), my partner asked the Belvior agent whether the house would be cleaned before the new tenants moved in. 'No!' was the rather rude reply, and we were shown the door - most agents would at least lie! Says volumes to me about the kinds of tenants that Belvior want to attract (and possibly the kinds of landlords who use their services) ...

Anonymous said...

You are not a competing letting agent trying to bad mouth belvior are you?

Anonymous said...

Not at all. I am a tenant who was shocked at the quality of properties that Belvoir showed us - this was in Swindon, if you'd like some more details. Of course this is the internet and you can believe what you like, but I can assure you that I'd never be a letting agent, I've got some sense of morals!