Market/advertise a property
Advertising the property yourself
You could advertise online, or ask to put up a sign on the noticeboard in a local shop window or library. You may also want to advertise in the local newspaper.
If you have a target market make sure you are advertising the property in the most suitable way to find potential tenants (for example you could advertise to students through university property lists).
Include the rent amount and size of the property in your advert to encourage the most suitable tenants for viewings.
Using a letting agent to advertise a property
Some landlords use a managing agent, who can advertise a property and source tenants as well as managing the tenancies. However if you are ‘self-managing’ you could choose to use a letting agent just to market the property.
When setting the rent amount consider the rent being charged for similar properties in the area (researching the market rent could prove helpful).
If you are charging a much higher rent then you are unlikely to get a lot of interest. If your rent is higher because it includes costs that aren’t always included in rent (such as heating costs, Council Tax, or broadband) make sure this is clear in the advertisement.
Being flexible about the rent and consider lowering your asking price, especially if you are confident that the prospective tenants will look after the property. Lowering the rent slightly could be better for your income than losing a few months’ worth of rent due to an empty property.
Preparing for viewings
Make sure the property is presented in its best light before a viewing. This might include tasks such as repainting any areas if necessary, or mowing the lawn, as well as general tidying/cleaning).
Being prepared with knowledge about the local area - you may want to point out specific benefits (for example proximity to shops/schools, or peacefulness).
Answer any questions that potential tenants ask during a viewing honestly. If a tenant is fully informed before signing a tenancy agreement, they are less likely to be disappointed later down the line.
Notifying current tenants
You may have current tenants in the property (for example if the current tenancy is coming to an agreed end soon and you are looking to find the next tenant, to avoid leaving the property empty for too long).
Make sure any current tenants have agreed you can have access for a potential viewing. Give at least 24 hours’ written notice before viewings (this is the minimum amount of time you need to give notice to request access, ideally you should let them know as soon as possible).
Remember they may want time to tidy the property and to put any valuables out of sight. They may also wish to request alternative dates/times for the viewings.
Getting references from tenants
Checking a potential tenant’s financial history and getting references before they move in can help you avoid issues such as rent arrears. Requesting references from any current or past landlords can also give you an idea of whether they will be a good tenant.
If you decide you want to carry out a credit check on a potential tenant you will need their permission first.