Finding Good Tenants

Image showing houses where the landlord has rented to good tenants
Finding good tenants gives security to you, the landlord, and ensures you will have as few problems as possible when renting out your property. Photo © Trevor Littlewood (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Finding Good Tenants To Rent Your Property

Finding trustworthy and dependable tenants to rent a property is essential for any UK landlord. Here are some tips to help you find good quality tenants if you are a new or experienced landlord in England or Wales.

Firstly, it is important to have a good selection process in place for tenants. This should include screening tenants for credit history, employment status and references.

Ask tenants for proof of identification and a copy of their passport or driving licence. Always carry out a credit and background check on tenants to ensure they can afford the rent. You can use a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax.

It is also a good idea to ask tenants for proof of their current address. This can be done by requesting a utility bill or council tax statement in the tenants’ name.

Meeting Your Potential Tenants

Make sure you meet tenants in person before renting to them. This will allow you to get to know them and see if they are suitable for your property.

Be aware of any warning signs that tenants may not be a good fit, such as them being overly eager to rent your property or if they cannot provide proof of identification or employment.

If you have any doubts about a tenant, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not rent to them.

Photo of a terraced rented house in England.
Meeting your tenants beforehand is an absolute must before you consider renting your property to them. Photo © Robert Graham (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Signing Your Tenancy Agreement With Your Tenant

Once you have found tenants who are suitable for your property, it is important to sign and agree on your written tenancy agreement. This will outline the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including the rent amount, deposit amount and length of the tenancy.

It is also advisable to have a clause in the rental agreement form that allows you to evict tenants without having to go through the courts. This is known as a ‘non-standard clause’ and can be useful if tenants are causing a problem or not paying rent.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are renting your property to good-quality tenants who will respect your property and pay their rent on time.

Finally, always make sure your tenants read the tenancy agreement thoroughly before signing it. This will help protect you as a landlord from any potential disputes with tenants in the future.

Landlords should also remember that they have a legal responsibility to ensure their tenants are safe and have a decent place to live.

Download Our Trusted Tenancy Agreement

For England & Wales

For Renting Properties: Tenancy Agreement Form
For Individual Lodgers: Room Rental Agreement

Image of a rented property with a tenancy agreement signed by good tenants.
You have legal responsibilities as a landlord regardless of whether you have a tenancy agreement in place or not. Photo © Philip Halling (cc-by-sa/2.0

Allowing Potential Tenants To View Your Property

When screening tenants, it is important to be selective and allow only the most qualified tenants to view your property.

One way to do this is to ask tenants for a viewing appointment. You can do this by sending an email or text message with a date and time for the viewing.

Make sure you are available to show the property at the appointed time. If you are not able to show the property yourself, make arrangements for someone else to show it on your behalf.

If you have any doubts about a potential tenant, do not rent to them. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Preparing Your Property For New Tenants

Before tenants move into your property, there are some things you need to do in order to prepare it for them.

Firstly, you need to clean the property from top to bottom. This includes washing the windows, walls and ceilings.

You should also repair any damages to the property and replace any missing or damaged fixtures and fittings.

Image of an older stone house which need repaired before renting.
If your property is older or needs repaired before renting, then do it before your new tenants move in. Good tenants will not be happy with major problems. Photo © Richard West (cc-by-sa/2.0)

It is a good idea to paint the property in a neutral colour before tenants move in. This will help them feel at home and will not clash with any furniture they may bring with them.

Make sure all of the furniture and included appliances are in good working order. You can use our property inventory template to list all the items in the home before you rent it out.

If any areas of the property need repairing, make sure you get them fixed before tenants move in.

Your Responsibilities As A Landlord In England And Wales

As a landlord in England or Wales, you have a number of legal responsibilities to your tenants.

These landlord responsibilities include:

  • Making sure all tenants are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities
  • Ensuring tenants have access to essential services such as water, gas and electricity
  • Taking action if there is a problem with the property or the tenants’ behaviour

By following these tips, landlords can find good quality tenants who will be a benefit to their property and avoid any potential disputes down the road.

Before signing your tenancy agreement, go over it in person with your tenant.

What To Do If Your New Tenants Fail To Pay The Rent

If tenants fail to pay the rent, UK landlords have a number of options available to them.

The first step is to speak to the tenants and find out why they are not able to pay the rent. This can be done by sending them a letter or email.

If the tenants are unable to pay the rent because they have lost their job or had their benefits stopped, you as the landlord may be able to help them. For example, some landlords offer tenants the option of paying the rent in installments. This can be done by setting up a direct debit with the tenant’s bank account.

Image of a brick house where finding good tenants was a priority for the owners.
Taking the time to find good quality and responsible tenants to rent your property can save a lot of trouble in the months or years ahead. Photo © Ian Capper (cc-by-sa/2.0)

If tenants are still unable to pay the rent, the landlord can take legal action against them. This can include issuing a notice to quit or starting eviction proceedings.

More information on tenants’ rights and landlord responsibilities.

The process of finding good quality tenants to rent a property in England or Wales can seem daunting, but by following these simple tips, landlords can minimise the risk of any potential disputes with tenants in the future.

Back to our main Tenancy Agreement For England and Wales or the Landlord Advice Blog