Screening of tenants is one of the most effective ways to increase profitability by saving you time and money. The pre-viewing screening will present you with a shortlist of the best tenants. You can then go ahead and schedule viewings.
The private rental sector is strong and demand is high. There are plenty of tenants out there looking for their next rental. As well as high demand there is also a lot of competition among landlords. To rise above the crowd, you need your property to stand out and offer tenants what they want. This is quite obvious really, but what exactly are tenants looking for in a rental?
1 - Garden....or not?
Like several of the factors we're going to discuss the presence or absence of a garden can be a positive or negative depending on the type of tenant you're hoping to attract. If you're looking to rent to families a garden or outside space will be a big attraction. But if you're targeting young professionals a garden won't be so important. They’re unlikely to want to maintain a garden though a patio or decking for a barbeque will be a big selling point to any tenant.
2 - Transport links
Hugely important. Bus, train or metro links are essential for those without transport for access to work or university. Rentals without these links will struggle to attract any tenants who aren't car owners. Good transport links are especially valuable to young people in further education so landlords considering moving into the student market should prioritise local transport.
3 - Parking
Many urban areas suffer from a chronic lack of parking. A rental with its own drive or designated parking space will be a massive attraction. Most families now have at least one if not two cars so being able to provide parking with your property will be a big win.
4 - Schools
If you're renting to families being in the catchment area of a good school will be a massive selling point. It seems to be more difficult than ever for parents to place children in schools unless they live locally. If your rental is close to a school make sure you shout about it when you advertise your property to let.
5 - Storage
Plenty of storage is always a plus for tenants. Especially for younger renters. They want wardrobe and cupboard space but urban properties will also benefit from additional storage for bicycles. Usable loft storage in a family home will also be welcome.
6 - Pets welcome
Not all landlords will welcome pets. But those who do will often find they're able to charge a premium rent. Dog owners especially appreciate pet friendly landlords and they tend to make good tenants who stay longer and pay their rent on time.
7 - Fast broadband
Providing broadband will be a big winner if you're renting to young professionals or students. Including Wi-Fi as a package with the rent will help your property stand out from the crowd.
8 - Good quality appliances and white goods
Every tenant will expect their rental to have white goods. Certainly an oven and fridge should be the minimum any landlord provides. But prices are so low nowadays it's possible to go the extra mile by providing higher spec appliances. Also consider adding extras such as a microwave, dishwasher or fridge-freezer. A washing machine will be especially welcome as it'll save tenants having to find one of the ever-dwindling number of laundrettes.
9 - Local facilities and amenities
Neighbourhood leisure and shopping facilities are something many tenants will consider when looking at a rental. A nearby supermarket will be an attraction though younger people will probably be more interested in local bars and nightlife.
10 - Security
Security, or the lack of it, is a big concern for many tenants. Thieves tend to target areas with high concentrations of rented accommodation. Providing security measures such as extra locks, floodlighting and even CCTV will be a huge attraction for tenants.
The amount of rent is obviously important. When searching for a property tenants will have a budget in mind. But many will be happy to go to the top end of their budget if the rental fits all their criteria. Similarly, a tenant will often opt to pay a higher rent when choosing between two properties if one meets more of their criteria.
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