What’s the most important factor for success as a landlord? Is it the location of your property? Its postcode? Access to local amenities? No, it’s none of these – in fact, it’s nothing to do with your property at all.
Yes, the bricks and mortar that you choose to buy are important, as is a property’s location; the way you manage it; and any changes that you make. But the key to landlord success - and generating profit - is your tenants.
You may already have an image of the perfect tenant in your head, but great renters come in many different forms so it is important to choose the right tenant for your circumstances. For example:
1. Families are more likely to make good long-term tenants but your property will naturally be subject to more wear and tear. Families are also more likely to make a property feel like their own, which can be both good and bad! If you’re looking to rent to a family, remember that they tend to relocate just before school term time and often need to move quickly.
2. Young professionals are more likely to have higher levels of disposable income and look after a property well. However, they also look for properties in very specific areas (e.g. close to employment, transport, bars and restaurants) and expect a quality, modernised feel. They are also very mobile and are, therefore, more likely to move on quickly.
3. Students are often seen as a poor option for tenants because they typically have little or no income, and have a poor reputation when it comes to caring for and looking after properties. However, with fixed yearly contracts, sizeable deposits and guarantor backing, a good student rental property is rarely empty and can be a highly-reliable source of income.
4. Relocators can be any age but they are often older couples or singles who have sold a property and are moving into a new area. Initially, they can seem like perfect tenants but beware: if they have capital, they may be looking to buy quickly once they’ve sampled the local neighbourhood. You may have to find a new tenant within 6 to 12 months.
Whoever you let to, make sure that you check their background scrupulously. A good lettings agent should be able to advise you on this but typical checks include:
- Identity / proof of address checks;
- Credit and bank statement checks to prove a tenant’s ability to pay;
- References from a previous landlord regarding property upkeep; and
- In-person / over-the-phone checks. There’s nothing better than meeting face-to-face with a potential tenant before allowing them to live in your property.
If you’d like to talk to one of the Open Door team about finding the perfect tenant, we’d be happy to go into more detail: just pick up the phone and one of our local offices will help you.