Confirming the appointment
- Once you are happy to proceed, confirm or book the appointment - you can do this through Portfolio or direct contact with the potential tenant.
- Ensure that all parties are aware of the appointment and don't forget that you should only proceed once you have express consent from your tenant who currently lives in the property providing them with at least 24 hours notice.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when they should expect you back to ensure your safety.
- Ensure that you have confirmed the location with the tenant, and provide clear directions to the property.
- When confirming the appointment we recommend if you have a viewing in the morning, confirm the afternoon before, and if it's in the afternoon, confirm that morning. You may also want to check in by Text/Phone one hour before the meeting time.
- Do not attend unless you have received some form of confirmation to avoid an unnecessary journey and time out of your day.
- If you have multiple viewings you could try to book these on the same day - we would recommend spacing viewings so there is a gap of 30 minutes between in case anyone runs late or has any additional questions.
- It's a good call to ask the tenant to confirm they are bringing Proof of address and ID as you will need to see the original if they intend to take the property.
Carrying out the appointment
- We would always recommend to arrive 10-15 minutes before the appointment. This gives you time to give the property the once over and put anything right that needs to be sorted out.
- Below is a list of features and how you might showcase the benefits of these.
|Size of property/number of rooms /number of bathrooms
|Great for a small/big family. Great for when you have guests.
Very quiet and keeps the heat in and bills lower
Piece of mind and security
Manageable - easy to maintain
Private open space - great for the kids
New electrical appliances
Still under guarantee - you will have no worries if it goes wrong
Instant hot water with a powerful jet - offers quick shower in the morning
Off-road parking for your car or a large storage space
Near transport / shops
Nearest bus stop. Train station. Easy access to .......
Why is the property suitable
Relate to their circumstances and requirements
- When the tenant arrives it is best to show them around rather than letting them wander.
- You should be in control of the appointment - act like a "tour guide" around the property. Talk about the local area, facilities, neighbours, schools, amenities.
- Confirm what will remain in the property: furnishings, appliances, curtains , fixtures.
- If the applicant points out any works/repairs. Confirm what work will be carried out. You as the landlord are in a better position than most to explain this.
- You may also want to explain "what happens next" if they intend to move forwards.
- Also explain any conditions which may affect their decision making this could include what you agree about smoking, pets, children, decoration, parking - and always follow it up in writing so there is no confusion.
Closing the deal
At the end of the appointment you should ensure you ask what they thought about the property. This will also encourage them to ask more questions.
Here are some questions which might facilitate discussion and give a true picture of what they actually thought about your property: open questions are the best option.
- Did you like the property?
- Did it meet your requirements?
- What wasn't quite right?
- What do you think the property needs?
- What questions do you have?
Consider the tenants wish list which may determine whether an offer is made
- Asking for a break clause
- a reduction in rent or making an offer
- want additional appliances
- want a shower
- want permission to decorate
- will the landlord allow smokers
- will the landlord allow pets
- want more furniture
- want less furniture
Types of issues you could encounter when dealing with tenants:
In our experience, there are certain situations/scenarios which may occur in relation to applications and here we offer some advice on how to handle them, this list is not exhaustive.
"My credit isn't so good, will that be a problem"?
The applicant in this instance needs to be honest. If you are using a reference company their rules may determine the outcome. If you obtain specific information, it may be that you can make an informed decision and reach some form of agreement with the tenant. You may want to allow the references to continue to see what the outcome is. It may be that you agree to rent in advance. If you are considering having rent guarantee insurance make sure you check the terms and conditions before accepting any tenancy.
In these situations we would recommend asking the tenant for a guarantor.
"Me and My current landlord aren't on good terms - how will that affect the application"
Speak to the tenant and try and understand the situation. If you only need to confirm that they have paid the rent then you could ask for bank statements or other proof it has been paid. You may still want to go ahead with your own landlord referencing to see what their landlord has to say.
"I only have my landlords mobile : is that OK"
You should always get the email address, phone number and full name of the landlord.
"I know that there are four of us, we all work but I am the only one on the tenancy, will that be ok?"
You should always have all tenants named on the tenancy agreement, especially in a HMO. If a tenant is not named then they are not liable for rent.
"Is it ok to have our partners stay overnight in the property?"
Ultimately it would be your decision as a landlord but more questions would need to be answered. Tenants may have guests stay over from time to time but if someone will be staying at the property frequently you need to consider if they are actually planning to live at the property alongside the tenant. This situation could lead to considerably more work for you as a landlord with an increase in visits for example and could potentially put you in breach of licencing depending on the terms.