Think about your market and what tenants you will get

We always like to think about our tenant market very carefully – and if you are in the landlord business you should too.

So we own and let mainly two bed freehold houses, always with gardens , mostly in South East London and North West Kent.

We know this market very well.

Our places are not massively up market nor down market. All are clean and well maintained.

Quite a few are ex local authority houses – these all are well built and have good sized rooms and bags of storage space, compared to modern flats and Victorian conversions.

95% of our enquiries are from tenants who are not UK nationals. And 85% of these are people who hail from central and Eastern Europe – from as far south as Bulgaria and Romania and as far north as Lithuania and Poland. They are either couples or have a family with one or two kids. Most work in construction and hospitality.

The biggest national contingents are Lithuanians, Poles, Bulgarians, Romanians and Slovakians, roughly in that order.

With the plandemic, relatively few have yet headed home – which is something we are very pleased about. Those in hospitality have usually sought and secured other jobs.

We have very few British enquirers, but most British turn their noses up at our spacious ex-local authority houses, preferring drafty, noisy odd-shaped conversions or modern, tiny hotel-like rooms in purpose built flats.

Those British enquirers who are actually OK with ex local authority places tend to be the ones who are dependent on universal credit, which generally does not work for us, because the income they get generally fails to meet our 2.35 times the rent target.

And even when they meet our target income, their bank statements usually reveal they are already overdrawn, which means they cannot afford a deposit, let alone give us comfort they can afford to actually sustain the tenancy and pay the rent on time, each and every month.

The tenants we have had from central and eastern Europe generally tend to be quite handy – they can fix a sticky drawer easily, enjoy decorating and looking after gardens properly. They tend to be very tidy too.

Most importantly, they tend to stay a long time, which is what we want, because like any landlord, we dread all the work that comes with having to re-let. (The image of rapacious landlords evicting established tenants for new people who can pay higher rent is a fiction of some on the left who have no understanding of how this market really works).

These days, when I market our property online, we get deluged with enquiries, most of which are from time wasters.

So, now, I simply send an email setting out what we will need to see from each applicant – proof of ID, proof of income of 2.35 times the rent, 3 months bank statements, a decent credit score and a previous landlord reference as a minimum.

It is just not worth phoning them. There are always simply too many enquiries to bother doing that. Most of the applicants will not have read the advert properly and so will not realise that we don’t accept pets and will require proof that their income is 2.35 times the rent.

So the email sets out these conditions again. And it invites them to call us if they meet our criteria. We then do the viewings.

Typically we will get 50 enquiries for each property we have available to let. Of these, there will be between 2 and 5 sets of people who will come to viewings.

If we have to show more than five sets of people, we have clearly priced the property wrong and the rent is too high, but this is a very rare occurrence as we always aim to price very competitively in the first place. Generally, I aim to be at least 5% cheaper than the cheapest rental 2 bed house in the entire main postcode area.

My approach seems to work and keeps the time factor down to a minimum. After all, I did not quit wage slavery to work too hard.

But the key is to also understand the market, what tenants I will get and what they want.

Your market may be very different and your tenant group of a completely different hue. But you must know even before you buy what kind of tenants you are likely to get and how much demand there is.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS

Services for Private Landlords

We help landlords and property investors by showing them how to make money in the private rented sector using ways which are fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk. Our advice is completely independent.

Services to Businesses, Charities and the Public Sector

We advise a range of organisations too – public, charities and private – to help them develop and improve their services and products for private landlords. David Lawrenson, founder of LettingFocus, also writes for property portals, speaks at property events and is regularly quoted by the media.

HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG: Blog

THE HOME PAGE OF THE MAIN SITE: http://www.LettingFocus.com

For general information on our CONSULTING SERVICES: Consultancy and Seminars

For ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY FOR PRIVATE LANDLORDS: Property Advice

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – from both organisations and private landlords: Testimonials

IN THE MEDIA: Recent Press Coverage

BOOKS:

“SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING”:

Our book is the highest selling personal finance and property book in the UK. Click here to Find Out More and Buy it. And if you are from an organisation and would like to bulk buy, please ask us for special rates.

“BUY TO LET LANDLORDS GUIDE TO FINDING GREAT TENANTS”:

Also, get this great new guide here, which covers everything you’ll ever need to know to avoid either you or your letting agent getting anyone other than the perfect tenant. Click Here to Buy It.

BOOK FOR TENANTS:

Kids going off and renting for the first time? My Book for Tenants is also Available

TO JOIN OUR FREE NEWSLETTER MAILER which goes to over 3,980 people (as at Dec 2020) just send an email to [email protected]

We do not send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers, though we occasionally mail landlords about good products from third parties. Please put us on your “white list” to ensure you receive our emails.

OFFERS ON PRODUCTS FOR LANDLORDS and TO ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCTS to LANDLORDS: Landlords Resources

PERUSE LAST TEN BLOGS BY GETTING THE RSS FEED: Click Here

NEXT ANNUAL SEMINAR EVENT FOR LANDLORDS: Landlord and Property Letting Seminar

TWITTER PAGE My thoughts on property, personal finance, music that I like, sport, Corona Hysteria plus a lot of other random things: Twitter 

COPYRIGHT: DAVID LAWRENSON

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.