How to se­cure a rental prop­erty in a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Luke Gid­ney

ONE in ten. Not the great­est of odds, but it has been said re­cently that there are 10 po­ten­tial ten­ants for ev­ery rental prop­erty com­ing to the mar­ket.

I’m not sure how sci­en­tific these fig­ures are or whether they ap­ply to each and ev­ery prop­erty, but they are com­pelling.

Af­ter all, a house next to a busy road junc­tion, a sewage farm or a noisy pub never at­tracts as much in­ter­est as one in a scenic po­si­tion of­fer­ing close prox­im­ity to good schools and pub­lic trans­port. But even if a prop­erty is only wanted by your­self and a ri­val, then the odds are two to one – mean­ing you still have to prove you would be the bet­ter ten­ant. So how can you tip the odds in your favour?

At Let-Leeds, we let hun­dreds of prop­er­ties in Leeds and York ev­ery year. As let­ting agents we are, in ef­fect, land­lords on a large scale. The prop­er­ties vary in size, lo­ca­tion, age, cost and type. But the prin­ci­ples be­hind what make a good ten­ant re­main the same in the minds of all land­lords.

Such prin­ci­ples must be re­mem­bered by any­one want­ing to be­come the ten­ant of the prop­erty they have just viewed.

First and fore­most, it is a mat­ter of se­cu­rity. Land­lords want to feel se­cure when they let their prop­erty. They want set­tled, longterm ten­ants who will pay the rent on time, treat the prop­erty with re­spect and be­have in a way that gives the land­lord lit­tle or no cause for con­cern.

Ob­vi­ously, only time will tell if a land­lord’s choice of ten­ant proves to be the right one. But a would-be ten­ant can do much to em­pha­sise why a land­lord should place their trust in them as op­posed to any­one else.

There is one word in the pre­vi­ous para­graph that cap­tures the ex­act essence of what a land­lord wants a ten­ant to be: set­tled. In al­most ev­ery land­lord’s mind, the less dis­rup­tion there is in a ten­ant’s life then the fewer prob­lems there will be for the prop­erty.

So if you are in a com­mit­ted, long-term re­la­tion­ship, em­pha­sise it when ap­ply­ing for the ten­ancy. If you are in full-time em­ploy­ment, don’t just men­tion it: high­light the fact that your job is likely to be there for the next few years, tell the land­lord if a pro­mo­tion is in the off­ing, re­fer to how close your work­place is to the prop­erty or men­tion that your em­ployer will hap­pily pro­vide a char­ac­ter ref­er­ence.

A land­lord will also want to know about your track record when it comes to rent­ing, so don’t be back­ward in com­ing for­ward with any ref­er­ences you can muster from your pre­vi­ous land­lords. And don’t wait to be asked for them, hand them over at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble op­por­tu­nity.

Land­lords want to be con­vinced of a ten­ant’s suit­abil­ity. If you are a land­lord, suit­abil­ity not only equals set­tled. It also means cash flow. If the rent stops be­ing paid, the law can take its course. Land­lords, how­ever, do not want to see such a prob­lem de­velop. They would much rather avoid such un­pleas­ant­ness by choos­ing a ten­ant who will not present such a prob­lem. With this in mind, putting down a large de­posit or of­fer­ing to pay more than one month’s rent in ad­vance can con­vince a land­lord that you would be a safe bet as a ten­ant. As will high­light­ing your good credit his­tory. These ac­tions of­fer no guar­an­tee that you will be the best ten­ant but they can be per­sua­sive when you are look­ing to stand out from the queue of other would-be res­i­dents.

Such ad­vice will never guar­an­tee you gain the rental home you want. The de­ci­sion rests with the land­lord. But land­lords are like the best ten­ants – they want a set­tled ar­range­ment that works well for them and the prop­erty.

Shel­ter and other or­gan­i­sa­tions have called for five-year ten­an­cies, ar­gu­ing that they of­fer both land­lords and ten­ants se­cu­rity. As such ar­range­ments have not ar­rived yet; tak­ing the afore­men­tioned steps may be the best way for you to gain the per­fect place to live while giv­ing your po­ten­tial land­lord peace of mind.

Luke Gid­ney is di­rec­tor of LetLeeds,

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