How to find tenants

The dream tenant is someone who pays the rent on time and keeps their home clean and tidy. The best way to go about finding a tenant is jotting down a simple marketing plan for your buy to let property. The first step is advertising the property. Where and how you do this depends on the type of tenant you are looking for.

Setting the right rent

Pay a visit to local letting agents and see what landlords are charging for similar properties in your area. If you can't get to a letting agent, try the local paper property section or check out some property web sites. Try and figure out the market value rent for your property.

Marketing your buy to let

If you are looking for a student tenant or young professionals, think of putting your property online. Many letting agents run a tenant sourcing service for a small fee and can help include your property on the high traffic sites like XXXXXXXXX or sites that specialise in homes for students.

Don't forget the old favourites as well; like word-of-mouth down the post office or corner shop or a card in the newsagents. Advertising in local papers will also generate interest. A 'to let' board in the garden works wonders as well.

Next, present your property in the best light possible. This means cleaning up the front to give your home 'kerb appeal' and making sure the inside is clean and fresh as well.

Checking out the tenants

First impressions when you meet a tenant are fine, but follow them up by checking references. Many experienced landlords have their tenant checklists; a list of points to cover when meeting a prospective tenant. The list helps compare like-with-like answers and fills in any memory gaps if you are seeing a lot of candidates for a property.

Treat letting like a businesses

Don't give rent discounts; don't let off new tenants from giving full deposits; and don’t forget to check those all-important references. Remember as a landlord you are running a business not a charity.

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