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Finding tenants

Finding tenants

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To maximise your return on investment, it is important to find a tenant quickly and at the right price. There are three stages which are normally involved in finding a tenant:

  • Advertising. The more tenants that know about your property, the better chance you have of a suitable tenant making an inquiry and seeking a viewing.
  • Holding viewings. Very few tenants will rent a property without viewing it first, so you should make sure you are prepared for the questions that will be asked. The previous section gives you some advice on preparing your property.
  • Administration. To minimise the chance of your tenant turning out to be a complete nightmare and to give yourself the maximum legal and financial protection if they do, there is a reasonably exhaustive administration process which it is recommended you follow, before your prospective tenant has access to the property.

If this all seems a little bit time consuming to you, then fortunately there is another option - one which is chosen by a large number of landlords - allow a lettings agent to handle all these activities on your behalf. Their services don't come cheap and nor do they guarantee an angelic tenant, but they take a lot of the stress and time requirements out of the process and have considerable expertise and experience that allows them to carry out the activities more efficiently than you would be able to.

How long will it take?
How long it will take to find a tenant depends entirely on the market and the demand for the type of property you are letting at the price at which you are offering it. Two to six weeks is a normal length of time. Many properties are let much more quickly than this, some almost overnight, but you should neither expect this, nor depend on it financially.

As a rule, you will usually find a tenant more quickly using a lettings agent than you would on your own, as they usually expend a greater amount of resources on marketing than you would if you were letting privately. However, not all lettings agents are equal. The level of profile that their advertising takes, the prominence of the agent's office, the efficiency of their systems and a range of other factors can all influence the speed at which your property is let.

Don't forget that referencing can take up to a week, even when you've found a tenant that seems suitable. It is possible to fast track the process, which means you should have them back within 48 hours, but this will cost you extra.

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