Landlords renting out rooms in flatshares and houseshares will often face the rather tedious task of having to advertise for new tenants. Students and young professionals , particularly if they are living in rooms to rent in London or other major cities such as Birmingham and Manchester frequently move house. Although the rental markets of these cities are busy for most parts of the year, a good advertisement and well arranged viewings can help to make finding new tenants for your rooms to rent easier and quicker.
A well written advert should give tenants looking for rooms to rent some basic information - size, shape and decoration of the room, furniture in the room, other people living in the houseshare and a short description about the local area. This will keep your time spent on calls to a minimum and it won’t be necessary to explain all this information to everyone. If you notice that the same questions are being asked by several tenants, then go back and include this information in the advert as well.
When taking calls, it is a good idea to ask the tenants a few basic questions such as how long they are expecting to stay in the room and if they are looking for a room to rent for themselves or if they are a couple. Arranging viewings and only then realising that there are two or even more people expecting to share the same room although you are only looking for a single tenant is wasting both your tenant’s and your own time. Asking the right questions when you speak to the tenant on the phone will avoid this.
Showing tenants around your flatshare or houseshare When arranging viewings it is a good idea to set a time one or two days in advance and asking all tenants to arrive within a one hour window, say between 2 and 3 pm. Especially when looking for tenants for rooms to rent in London, public transport delays can mean tenants can turn up at the rental property later then expected. Should more than one potential tenant turn up at the flatshare at the same time, you can always politely ask one of them to wait initial you have finished showing the room to rent to the other person. Most tenants won’t mind. Let tenants go into the room first as this maximises the impression of space. Putting a poster on the wall and a nice throw on the bed will instantly make an empty room attractive and welcoming. After the viewing, simply take the poster and throw with you are re-use for all your other rooms to rent!
Questions and answers to ask potential tenants Make sure you know the answers to common questions asked by tenants such as: How much is the council tax? What other bills are there? How far are the local shops away? Where are the nearest public transport stops?
You should ask potential tenants where they have lived previously and about their current job without sounding too inquisitive. You will have to check their references before signing the contract but some gentle enquiries will quickly tell you if a tenant would be suitable for your room to rent. Should a tenant be interested to take the room it is always a good idea to ask them for a small holding deposit. This will ensure the tenant is committed to living in the flatshare and unlikely to change his/her mind while you are checking references and preparing the contract. Make sure you point out that the deposit is non-refundable but will be credited against the first month’s rent. After the viewing, email the tenant your standard tenancy application form to collect all personal details and references required to finalise the rental agreement.