A landlord has two critical decisions to make when it comes to renting out a property.

Both these critical choices can have significant impacts on their health, wealth, and quality of life.

If a landlord chooses the wrong letting agent and then compounds that decision by renting to a tenant who has not been appropriately vetted, one thing is usually guaranteed – a problematic tenancy.

Poorly vetted tenants often cause the most problems. Add to this that letting agencies that don’t have stringent checks in place leave their landlords vulnerable.

At Alison George, we’ve always believed that one of the essential parts of our role as lettings agents in Neath is to ensure the best tenants are placed in the appropriate properties.

But how do we ensure we get great tenants for our landlords?

Well, we’ve had 15 year in the property rental business, so we know what to look out for.

The first stage of the vetting process is the initial enquiry.

Be it a call, email or someone popping into our office we’re always seeking clues to show us whether they will be a good or bad tenant and whether they will be a good "fit" for the property in question.

What makes a good tenant?

Simply someone who pays their rent on time, respects the property, is reasonable to deal with and no hassle to the neighbours.

These are all factors which will contribute to a successful rental.

The next step of the process is one where less well professional or experienced agencies often fail.

A rigid referencing process is vital for ascertaining credit and rental history as well as ensuring the tenant has the means to pay the rent.

Referencing covers employment, credit, and previous rental history, and while it is essential, it’s not always a 100 per cent guarantee that the tenant will be a good one.

But when done correctly and used in conjunction with the first step of the process (the "filter") and a good "gut feeling" that we've developed over years and literally 1000s of applications, it is usually a good indication of the calibre of the person applying to rent your property.

Once a tenant has been selected, the property needs to be professionally and ethically managed.

We advise landlords against keeping a tenant waiting for an unreasonable amount of time for a washing machine/boiler repair, etc., as this often leads to problems and ill-will in the future.

We also advise tenants when repairs or improvements arent the Landlord's responsibility and ensure that when they are carried out, its done punctuallly and to standard. 

Getting the Price Right

If a lettings agent overprices a property’s rental value, it can lead to extended void periods.

These extended void periods make little financial sense. For example - if a property's true rental value is 500pcm and its over-priced and advertised at 550pcm the phone is going to ring significantly less meaning an extended void and a much smaller pool of applicants to choose from. Very few tenant applicants ring up and "make an offer" like a purchaser buying a property would. They just dont call!

If it takes an extra month to let then the cost to the landlord in lost rent is £500 - it'll take 10 months to recoup the lost rent and if the tenants move on after the initial six months because the rent is above market, you're back to square one.  

These costly episodes put pressure on you as a landlord. They also put pressure on the letting agent who needs to fill the void as quickly as possible, with a much smaller and possibly lower quality applicant pool.

Which as we said at the start of this article can lead to a lot of trouble.

We hope this article helps you feel a little more informed about the decisions you need to make as a landlord in Neath.

If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to get in contact with us. We’re here to help you find the best tenants and look after your rental investments.