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  • Buy-to-Let

    How far would you go to land an ideal tenant?

    Out of interest why do you say no pets? I allow pets as it often means tenant stays longer, i also have a dog myself.

    Seems to work for me so far as all current tenants have been in situ for long periods, apart from the house i just rented out this month.

    Personally i think you can get a feel for people when you meet them rather than it being a paper exercise
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    Slowly working towards financial freedom

    Hi Mason, thanks for your feedback. With regards to dogs I also have 2 of my own dogs and I love them. My criteria for dogs for tenants though is one or two small breeds that do not malt hair everywhere and preferably don't drool dog saliva.

    I had one really nice middle aged couple wanting to rent but I saw a picture online of their french mastiffs running into the sea and sand and then another photo of them sat in the back of this couples estate car. The dogs had a blanket to lie on but it was absolutely covered with an inch thick of malting dog hair which looked like that hadn't been cleaned up ever since they got the dogs.

    I could almost smell the 'wet aging dog smell' from the photo and I imagined my lovely new refurbished investment property looking like that blanket in 2 years when they might decide to leave. It would mean new carpets throughout the house.

    Also, even though some prospects with pets suggest a higher bond, because the government now insists on LL's only being able to take 5 weeks rent as a bond it doesn't cover the cost of new carpets.

    So, for this reason and unless I really really needed to I prefer no dogs or small dogs to fit the criteria above. Im new though so I may need to eat my words yet but hopefully not Smile

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    ManInTheMoon


    Spending a lot of money on a refurb and then rejecting people who may not love it and care for the house as much as you is a common new investor problem.

    I've got some news for you - they won't love or care for the place as much as you do and it will never look as good again as it does now!

    Letting go of a freshly renovated house can be tough but part of being a LL.
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    Hmm, I see what you mean and it makes sense. Im probably a little 'over protective' of my investment this time around due to past experience..

    I've had my personal abode destroyed before when I rented it out temporally and it was completely trashed so I have experience of this and Im wanting to ensure this doesn't happen again in my new investment property (previous tenants were found by an agent and the tenant painted the walls dark red and black that needed 4 coats of paint to restore, holes in the doors and walls needed plastering and replacing, carpets ruined throughout, filthy, things were stolen including the curtain fittings and rails and hand banister along the staircase, garden lawn mower and they even kept pigeons in the kitchen, leaving the poop behind and they even left behind evidence of a lodger living in an unconverted loft space - crap all over and neighbors told me that police visits were frequent. The tenant also left without paying 3 months of rent.- truly a nightmare tenant and a big lesson for me not to trust certain agents ever again as there was no way those tenants were referenced correctly). That was about 15 years ago though and its no suprise that the agent who put the tenant in my property (a Whitegates franchisee) went out of business years ago.

    The people I have rejected so far for my new investment property is based on evidence of how prospective tenants live now from photos I found online.

    I guess this is what I meant by being a little stricter in the vetting process but also taking care of those who seem like a better fit. I suppose its a balance. Thanks for your feedback.

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    ManInTheMoon


    Its always a balance . Remain as flexible as possible though

    If you look after them they will look after you

    I often look to take tenants in the trades to save me costs

    A practical hands on tenant can save you £££££`s over the years

    An extra hour at the outset interviewing can mean you get no calls in a year

    Its time well spent


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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    I’m a dog lover and used to believe that if you give dog owning tenants a chance, they will repay the trust by looking after the property and staying for a long time, reducing voids. WRONG! 
    Last lot moved into a newly refurbished house, complete with new carpets throughout. 4 months later they gave me notice to leave. The smell could not be removed despite professional cleaning, fabreez, shake and vac, etc. The backs of the doors were scratched and chewed, and the garden was a mix of pot holes and “ land mines” other Doggy tenants have been nearly as bad. From now On it’s “ no pets” and apology to the nice ones out there
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    This is why I ask tenants to meet their pet beforehand or encourage the tenant to bring the pet to the viewing.

    Whilst not foolproof, it does allow me to see how the pet responds to the owner, is it obedient, does it shed a lot of hair, does it smell, etc.

    Like you mention, getting dog smell out of carpets is impossible (and then the other stuff you mention).

    You should vet pets the same as you do humans.

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    I have found dog tenants to be excellent because they stay, though my favourite strategy involves a week rent free and allowing them to decorate in a non-pristine house.

    I also meet Fido in the existing environment, with my dogspert so I know they will look after it and the house will not get eaten.

    In this case I would also offer a false grass area for playing safely.

    And my ideal tenant-with-toddler would have family in the area within an off street walk, and be planning to attend a local primary school. I would be setting up for a 5 year tenancy - it is likely that they would move with either job, or start of school, or start of senior school - if you do nothing that causes them to move.

    ML


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    If I have someone that I think is long-term I would give them lower monthly rental.

    I would sort the fence out if you're trying to attract families with small/young children and it is a concern.

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