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  • Landlords in Distress

    Struggling to find suitable tenants

    Dear Property Tribes,

    I am writing to ask for some advice related to my situation.

    I took over marketing my property from a traditional estate agent to an online one as they were not able to find any suitable tenants over a 2 month period.

    Since I have taken over, I have conducted around 6 viewings with similar outcome over the last 3 weeks as any prospective tenants are not able to show they have enough income/indefinite right to rent or are requesting 3 month tenancies. Ideally I am looking for a couple or 2 professionals to live in the property - is there any way to tailor my advert to this?

    When vetting prospective tenants, I have thoroughly questioned them, looked at their social media and have also referenced them via the online agent. I appreciate that they are all humans etc,but by doing this I have found more issues with respect to their lifestyles (for example: partner's/lodgers who would also likely move in - without my knowledge/consent; jobs in 'burlesque' clubs). My question is, am I being excessive with my vetting to the point where it is hindering me finding suitable people?

    I believe there is an issue with oversupply of property on the market and consequently I am considering dropping the rent (I would probably still break even as the cost of an online agent is so much cheaper than a traditional agent). Is this advisable?

    I live next door to the property I am letting out, would it also be worth considering something like airbnb (the property is mostly furnished) until I find some suitable tenants? Has anyone else tried this? - I am based in South Yorkshire around 10 miles from the peak district.

    Any input/advice is welcome.

    Thanks,

    RVS

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    Hi RVS,

    If your property is not letting, there will be a reason. You just have to find it and address it.

    These two threads will help:

    My property won't let! 6 tips to get it let! 

    Property not letting 

    As for serviced accommodation, read my guide to see if this is something you can legally undertake:

    Serviced accommodation - guide & pitfalls 

    I don't believe anyone can be too over-zealous in vetting tenants!

    Better to have a bit of a void than let to a wrong 'un.  However, I am sure if you take the tips above, you will soon find a great tenant. Smile

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    I agree you are wise to be careful when vetting prospective tenants and if any doubt don't let to them.

    Does the property need updating and what are the photos like on Rightmove - could either of these be improved?  There is much more competition for tenants from new landlords and many of these are with new properties so it is necessary to ensure your property competes on appearance with them.

    Letting property is very price sensitive and being £25 - £50 over market rent will reduce the chances of you letting dramatically so I suggest you check what similar properties are letting for and set the rent at £25 per month below these.  Also people tend to search in price bands – up to £500, £550 etc so it may be worth having the rent set a level that falls within a typical search band.

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    I recently had one on the market.

    Out of 30 applicants, only 5 could pass the affordability criteria.

    Fortunately, my previewing screening email prevented either of us wasting our time do a viewing.

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    I have had a long ordeal finding suitable tenants for my quality property .

    I never thought it would take so long being in a nice area. The problem was the 40 applicants  I had apply either couldnt come up with good

    references or had unpaid judgements .

    Once a tenant is in thats it so take your time and vet hard . Better to have empty property .

    Theres no doubts in my mind that its getting so much harder to find tenants who meet the requirements .

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    I would say keep up your vetting criteria especially as you live next door

    Tenant selection is key indicator to a successful tenancy

    I interrogate mine and tell them why. I tell them its akin to a job interview

    If the hackles go up I know they are not the right one they are putting on a show

    The ones i like are the ones that appreciate I care who goes in there

    The flip side is they get a LL who they feel also they can come to

    I ask them to grill me as well. I dont take offence

    I want them to expose any weakness in my systems so I can fix them

    We can then work together when / if issues down the line occur

    If your asset is worth 200K and bringing in 12K pa you have every  right to be picky at the outset

    A bad tenant can leave you seriously out of pocket

    Price may be an issue so look at that

    Dont know about Air B&B but being next door and on hand seems this could be a smart move

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


    If the property isn't let by X date I'd seriously consider the Air BnB route if it is a suitable property mortgage/lease-wise.

    If you would like honest opinions on it then please feel free to post up the Rightmove advert?

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