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How to attract long-term tenants to your rental property

While it’s not the case for everyone, most landlords are likely to prefer long-term tenants over short-term ones. For security, reliability and consistency, for a steady stream of rental income, and for the easy avoidance of unwanted void periods, more often than not long-term tenants hit the mark.

If you have good, long-term tenants – who pay their rent on time and treat your rental property as if it’s their own – it takes a massive weight off your mind and allows you to think about expanding your portfolio without worrying about an unoccupied home.

How, though, do you go about attracting long-term tenants in the first place? We take a look below.

Letting Solutions - How to attract long-term tenants

Avoid the student market

By its very nature, the student market appeals to short-term renters rather than long-term ones. At most, a student is likely to stay in the same house for the full three years of their degree, but in the majority of cases students will live in halls for the first year and then live independently in years two and three. Some may choose to switch houses a number of times during their studies.

What’s more, student living is directly linked to the university timetable and the academic year. While some will stay in situ during the summer, Easter and Christmas holidays, many will return home, effectively leaving your rental property empty for a good chunk of the year. In other words, long-term tenants and students are not an obvious match.

Treat your tenants well

This might sound obvious, but if you treat your tenants well the chances of them staying put for the long-term are much higher. Build a friendly, cordial relationship with your tenants, set firm boundaries, ensure they adhere to the tenancy agreement, act quickly if any issues or complications occur, and carry out any necessary repairs or maintenance in a reasonable amount of time.

In turn, tenants should pay you their rent on time, look after the property well, respect the neighbours and play by the rules and regulations that have been set out. If this is the case, a mutually beneficial tenancy should be highly achievable.

It may also be worth, if it seems as if tenants are in it for the long-haul, offering a more generous rental package to keep them on side. Long-term tenants are a precious commodity – guaranteeing a steady stream of rental income and the continued maintenance of your rental property – so you should certainly make it your mission to keep them as happy as possible.

Choose the right agent

A good letting agent will work closely with you to fill your rental properties with good, long-term tenants in the first place. If you select the right sort of tenants to begin with – ones who are likely to stay for the long-term, cause you no major bother and adhere to what has been set out in the tenancy agreement – the chances of disputes or tenants suddenly upping sticks with little forewarning will be reduced.

A good letting agent can also help to foster good relations between a landlord and tenant, which is such a vital part of any successful tenancy. The better you get on with your tenants, the more likely it is that they will stay put.

Of course, more than anything, a letting agent is there to ensure the tenancy goes as smoothly as possible – dealing with repairs and issues, responding quickly when any problems occur and making clear to tenants what their rights and obligations are. A good agent will look after your tenants and ensure the renting experience is a happy one. It stands to reason that happy tenants are more likely to be long-term tenants, so it’s within your interests to make this so.

In the current market conditions, the opportunity to secure long-term tenants is very much there, with more and more people turning to the private rented sector and this number set to rise quite substantially in the next four or five years. If you have the right framework and support system in place, securing long-term tenants should be a realistic ambition.

For more information about what Letting Solutions offer, please get in touch with us on: 01506 425693.

As West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we also provide free and instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much your rental property could be worth in the current marketplace.