Renting a property is a two-way street. You should be able to answer all your tenants’ questions and prepare them for the tenancy process before you send the offer letter. When you show your expertise and willingness to help – plus share with them a free downloadable guide to the whole process – they’ll have more confidence in you, which will help them decide on the property more quickly and cut down on your landlord’s void period.
Show your knowledge of the property
Your tenants may have questions about the property’s current broadband and energy providers, as well as the council tax band for when they move in. You can be ready with this information so they can make an educated decision based on overall cost per month. Being open and transparent will save any questions being raised at a later date.
You could also make them aware that all the energy performance, gas safety, and electrical safety certificates are up to date – and they’ll be provided with copies when they move in. More than just a necessity for compliance purposes, it’ll give your tenant confidence knowing that you take your responsibilities seriously – and could be a selling point if the property is energy efficient.
Provide information about the process
Even before the viewing, you can send through the list of possible identity documents they’ll need for referencing, so you can check their right to rent. If they have any doubt about the proof they can provide, you’ll know early on.
You can also check their employment status so you’ll know if they’re likely to be a suitable candidate and suggest that they prepare proof before they start the referencing process – and prepare their guarantor as well, where necessary.
If you also take advantage of technologies such as open banking in the referencing process, let them know early so they have more time to consider the option and learn more about it.
You can also check if your applicant was previously renting a property and, if so, ask them to reach out to their previous landlord to make them aware they’ll be contacted for some information. You can tell them that you’ll run a credit check, with their permission – and reassure them that this will be a soft check, which won’t affect their credit score.
Reassure tenants about payments
Although the offer letter will outline the costs involved in renting the property, you can give them more information and options. Let them know the reasons why you may retain their holding deposit if the tenancy weren’t to go through, as per the terms of the English Tenant Fees Act 2019. This gives them another opportunity to highlight any concerns with providing proof of their right to rent in England.
You should also confirm the security of the deposit protection scheme your landlord’s using, to reassure them of the safety of their money. You could even take this a step further by choosing to offer them a deposit replacement service. This is an insurance policy in your name meaning your landlord could get more protection than a traditional deposit scheme and you can help your tenants move into a property more quickly with a smaller upfront cost.
When discussing the deposit, you should also discuss the inventory, and highlight its importance for how it may affect their deposit or contents and liability insurance that they take out. You can suggest that they take photos as they make inventory checks, to make it easier for you and your landlords too if any deposit disputes were to arise at the end of the tenancy.
Share what they can expect from you on move in
You can let them know what documents they should receive from you when they sign their contract, such as the prescribed information confirming that their deposit is being held in a secure way, plus the EPC and gas safety certificates and How to rent guide too.
You should also let them know about their rights once they’ve signed, especially regarding repairs, any charges such as for energy, and access to the property for repairs or maintenance. On the other hand, you can also make them aware of some of the key things that they will be responsible for during their time in the property, from how they should look after their home to how the end of tenancy process will work.
If you want to go the extra mile, why not help them prepare for move-in day as well. Make suggestions on the things that they’ll need to consider in advance of the big day, such as redirecting post and thinking about setting up broadband in advance, or even noting down all meter readings to make sure all energy bills are paid by the right person.