Being a landlord in this area can be highly lucrative, especially with the current demand for high-quality rental properties in Bedford. The key to success in the rental market lies in preparing effectively and securing an excellent tenant.
What is a ‘Good Tenant’?
Particularly in the capital, although common in most cities and towns, tenants will attempt to outbid each other. With the massive demand for city-centre living, tenants are often willing to pay above the average to secure their dream property.
However, just because they offer a higher monthly rent does not necessarily mean they are the dream tenant. The ideal tenant will respect and take great care of the property. Additionally, they will pay the rent in full, every month.
Usually, tenants who intend to stay in a property long term are beneficial for landlords. Six month leases inevitably lead to more void periods, which mean less rent and more paperwork. Someone who imagines themselves in the property for a longer period is generally more likely to take better care of the place.
Offer a High-Quality Property
You cannot expect a perfect tenant if you are offering a sub-standard property. To attract a tenant who respects the property, you must also show the same level of respect.
This means preparing the property to a high standard and regularly carrying out pre-emptive maintenance work. This will keep the tenant happy and is generally much more cost-effective rather than allowing an issue to grow into something enormous.
Charge Fair Rent
It is important that you price your property fairly, considering the current local market in Bedford . It is easy for prospective tenants to see what else is on offer. If you wish to price your rent substantially higher than the average, then the quality of the property should reflect this. Unjustifiably high rent will not attract quality tenants.
However, pricing the property too low will mean your property attracts unsuitable, poor quality tenants who do not treat it with respect.
Conduct Personal Viewings
Whether it is yourself or your letting agent conducting the viewings, seeing tenants individually helps both parties.
It can be tempting to book group viewings to save yourself time. However, the impersonal nature of group showings can discourage tenants and allow genuine, high-quality tenants to quickly lose interest.
Individual showings help a tenant obtain a better understanding of you as a landlord and the general property. It means you can quickly and easily answer any questions they may have. Speaking directly to the tenant at the viewing can also speed up the process, resulting in a shorter void period.
It also enables you to get to know the tenant. You can quickly establish a personal bond and begin to decide on whether you feel they are the right fit for your property.
Make Thorough Screening and Background Checks
Although it can be tempting to rush the process and have the property filled as quickly as possible, ensuring that you carry out detailed checks will result in a more profitable rental, with excellent tenants, in the long term.
Have a Clear Tenancy Agreement
Excellent tenants will understand and respect the need for a comprehensive tenancy agreement, realising they protect the tenant equally as much as the landlord. Providing an inventory check is essential and can prevent a huge headache when the tenant chooses to vacate the property.
Try to Keep Good Tenants
Attracting the perfect tenant is only half of the process; next you have to encourage them to stay.
If you are lucky enough to have secured great tenants for your Bedford property, then you should do everything within your power to keep them. Although it is customary to increase rent annually, consider if this is worth it compared with the prospect of losing an excellent tenant. Re-letting the property will mean you have to go through the marketing, viewings, and screening process yet again, resulting in substantial fees and a potential void period for the property.
Additionally, you could consider a ‘bonus’ for tenants who renew a further twelve-months. This could be as simple as upgrading the property further by re-decorating or replacing flooring and is a relatively small price to pay to secure another year of excellent tenants.