What Makes a Good Tenant?
So, before beginning the search for your ideal tenant it’s worth defining what actually makes a “good” tenant.
In this case “good” is subjective and relative to what you personally want but in our experience good tenants are reliable, pay their rents on time, have steady and stable employment and have capable incomes relative to their monthly rent payments.
To get this person we generally vet them both on and offline, in person and via the information they’ve provided during the application phase. This information usually includes their job, and place of work, their income, previous addresses, and if possible previous landlord testimonials.
Please be aware, regarding that last point, that previous landlords could be giving falsely positive reviews to move a bad tenant from their problem to yours. It has happened before and could happen to you so don’t rule it out.
Finally, in our experience it’s probably best to avoiding renting to friends or family. We’ll leave you to make the judgment call on this…
How to Find Tenants in Northern Ireland
Now that we’ve defined the type of tenant we want it’s time to start the search.
To do this we’d generally recommend using a mix of the tools available and this would include the use of local property portals, websites like Gumtree, Facebook and last but not least, ugly boards.
You’ve read that correctly. One of the most effective ways to advertise for new tenants, even in 2017 and beyond, is to stick up an “ugly” board outside the property asking for tenant contact or applications. Try it and be very surprised…
Regarding local property portals here in Northern Ireland we’d recommend using Property Pal and Property News.
After sourcing the right tenant (and please bear in mind that experience also plays a huge role in determining good over bad tenants) your next decision will be to manage the tenant yourself or to outsource to a local estate agent.
We’ve listed the pros and cons of each below:
*You will pay more tax if you manage your own properties. Letting agency fees are a tax deductible expense. In effect if you were paying £50 per month to your letting agent to manage your property you would pay £10 less tax as a 20% tax payer and £20 less tax if you were a 40% tax payer. It could be argued therefore, that the management fee would cost you £40 or £30 depending on which rate of tax you pay.
Finally, when you’ve sourced good tenants and decided on what management method to use, it’s important to maintain good relationships because the best tenants are worth their weight in gold to your business.
How do you maintain good landlord tenant relationships? First, we would highly recommend that you focus on keeping rents at an acceptable rate year on year. To do this you should be aware of the local markets surrounding your property and weigh-up what losing your current tenants could mean to your business if you do raise rents to an unaffordable level for them.
After that we would recommend that you focus on securing long-term tenants as they generally build a home and look after the property in question.
Finally always try to keep open lines of communication throughout the relationship and deal with maintenance issues as promptly as possible.
Until Next Time...