If you’re wondering how to find tenants for your Glasgow rental, we have nine top tips for getting it right.
Rental properties are in high demand in Glasgow, particularly flats which have been in short supply since the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Daily Telegraph, Scotland is among the three hottest rental markets in the UK right now, with Glasgow cited as one of the country’s most desirable regions.
There are plenty of reasons for this, aside from Glasgow’s enduring appeal as a great place to live. Landlords have been exiting the buy to let market due to the sales boom, tenants are staying in their properties for longer and students are coming back to the city following a return to face-to-face learning.
All of this is encouraging news, if you’re entering the buy-to-let market or your Glasgow rental property has become vacant. That said, to find the perfect tenants for your property, and begin collecting rent quickly, you need to make it as appealing as possible.
Remember too that you don’t just want any tenants. You want to find the perfect tenants for your Glasgow property – who will pay their rent, look after the home and be good neighbours to people close by.
If you’re beginning the search for tenants, here are nine things you should do to improve your chances of finding the right tenant.
1. Create a home renters will love
Rental homes may be in demand, but tenants can still be picky with increasingly high expectations. The most desirable homes are newly refurbished with neutral decor, appealing kitchens and bathrooms and durable, quality furniture and appliances. Depending on your target market, smart tech additions can also help.
2. Prioritise online
Most property searches begin online and that includes the rental sector, so you need your property to be on the main websites and portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and in Scotland Citylets – as well as your letting agent’s website.
3. Make sure your photos do it justice
Whether you’re using an agent to advertise your property or going it alone, make sure the photos on your listing really sell the place. They should be professional shots taken in good light showcasing the home at its best.
4. Offer virtual viewings
House hunters got used to virtual tours during the pandemic. But even after the return to physical viewings, virtual ones have remained popular as a good way for tenants to rule a property in or out. Offering virtual viewings could help you attract interest from the start.
5. Make sure the price is right
Do plenty of research into rental prices of similar properties in your Glasgow neighbourhood. Do this by searching the portals and letting agent sites and the City Lets website. Pitch the property too highly, and you could price yourself out of the market – and your ideal renters’ budget limits. According to City Lets the average rental in Glasgow currently costs £972 per calendar month, but this is an average – you need a realistic figure for homes like yours.
6. Consider Pets
Landlords don’t tend to like tenants with pets. Across the UK as a whole, only seven per cent of privately rented homes allow them, yet there has been a huge increase in demand for furry friends since the first lockdown. In Scotland, the government recently consulted on proposals for a fairer rented sector, which included offering tenants greater flexibility to personalise their homes and keep pets. In the meantime, if you advertise your property as pet friendly, you will increase your pool of potential tenants.
7. Furnished v unfurnished?
This is a choice you’ll have to make, depending on the type of property and your target audience. While people searching for larger family homes often favour unfurnished spaces they can fill with their own belongings, young professionals looking for Glasgow flats tend to prefer furnished. If this is your target market, make sure you furnish the home with attractive modern items that coordinate well and give the place a modern feel.
8. Emphasise the outdoors
If your Glasgow property has outdoor space, even just a balcony, this is a real selling point, particularly since the pandemic. Make sure it is highlighted on all your listings and advertisements. The same goes for other exterior features, such as parking for cars and bikes.
9. Perform the right checks
It’s a good idea to do a range of background checks on your prospective tenant before you sign them up. A letting agent can do this, or you can pay specialist firms to carry out the checks on your behalf. The checks you should consider are:
Proof of identity
Unlike in England, Scottish landlords don’t need to check that their tenants have the right to rent in the UK. However, it’s worth doing some basic identity checks – ask to see photo ID, for example, a passport or driving licence, or a current utility bill.
You should take precautions to make sure that your tenant can afford to pay the monthly rent by asking to see payslips, bank statements or a letter from their employer.
You should also consider a credit check to see if they’ve defaulted on bills in the past. Credit referencing agencies such as Experian can do this for you for a fee.
Contact a tenant’s previous landlords for added reassurance that they were a reliable tenant who paid their rent on time. If the person hasn’t rented before, you could ask for a reference from their employer or university teacher, if a student. An alternative, particularly for students, is to ask for a guarantor, who agrees to pay the rent or cover damage to the property if needed.
Finding a letting agent
You don’t have to use a letting agent to advertise your property and help you find tenants but it can save you a lot of the legwork and worry. With plenty of experience of the Glasgow rental market, we’d love to talk to you about our services and offer you an appraisal of your rental property. Contact us today.