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After much thought and deliberation we here at Luscombe & Co decided to compile a list of the biggest mistakes we see some landlords and home owners making, when renting out their property without knowledge or guidance from within the industry. We felt that we needed to make you aware of these mistakes, so here is a mistake we see happening most frequently:
Not Qualifying Your Tenants Fully
It is understandable that you don’t want long void periods, so the natural thing to do would be to accept the first person that wants your property. This is a huge mistake; take the time to vet the potential tenant. You need to ensure you gather as much information as possible on this person, do a thorough check.
You need to take some time to judge the person accurately, they may seem friendly or they are a friend of a friend, but they may also have a gambling problem you otherwise wouldn’t know about, or are paying off multiple debts on credit cards or to loan companies. Do not just go on your gut instinct. So in reality, their wages are paying a lot more than just their rent. Any one who refuses to give you the relevant information should send alarm bells ringing immediately.
We have heard many horror stories from landlord’s about people they once trusted. The one that sticks with us the most here at our lettings agency in Newport is about young landlady who rented her property to a solicitor, which you would think would be a great tenant.
Unfortunately for the landlady, the solicitor in question decided to not pay her rent. The solicitor was also armed with knowledge and knew all the legalities around renting and by the time the landlady managed to evict the solicitor overall she had lost around £4000.
If you don’t have the time to qualify your tenants, then consider using an agency. For a small fee at the beginning you could save thousands in the long run.
The other factor affecting your chances of finding a quality tenant is where you advertise. As you probably already know, since the world wide web was created, the internet has become a powerful resource for people. Especially for those looking for properties, if tenants search online they are able to pictures and even street views on maps. Once upon a time, the local newspaper or shop windows were the only places tenants could really look but now there is a whole range of places available at the click of a button.
What we have found, is that there is large majority of people that go to smaller portals such as newspapers, gumtree and spareroom to look for properties, rather than through major sites where landlords are more likely to reference them. As a landlord you won’t be giving yourself the best choice of tenants to choose from if you don’t target the major portals, so there’s no surprise that according to UPAD 92% of tenants start their search online nowadays.
So in reality, by pre qualifying your tenants and finding them through the right resources you could save yourself a lot of money and hassle in the long run!