Tips and advice for landlords

If you’ve never rented out a property or room before, or you want to make sure you maximise your income, here’s some advice on how to get it right.
Create an ad

By creating an advert and taking the time to make sure each section is completed, you will be more likely to find the right tenant or flatmate.

Heading help

The heading is the first thing that people see when they browse the website. Ask yourself what you would like to read if you were a potential tenant. For example, is the room large? Does it have a nice view? Are the rest of the housemates friendly? This is your opportunity to entice people to find out more.

Add photos

Flats with photos get more clicks. Fact. So not only are you attracting more potential flatsharers with photos, but those who do contact you have already seen what your property looks like. For the best shots, follow these tips:

  • Use a good quality camera
  • Make sure the lighting is good
  • Make sure the place looks presentable
  • Focus on the best features of the property
Descriptions

When writing about your home or the property you are renting out, it’s important to make it stand out from the crowd while also keeping it simple. Make sure you start with the features that make your home special or attractive to someone who might live there.

As well as the features of the property, make sure you mention the type of people that live there, what they are like and how they spend their time. For example, is it a sociable house that likes to have people round for drinks often? And don’t forget the surrounding area. How close is it to local transport links? What are the shops like? And is there a nice place to grab dinner and have some drinks?

Remember, you’re not just advertising a room, but an area and a home. Whatever you say, make sure you are honest. It also helps if you write in a friendly, human style and don’t be afraid to show a bit of humour or your winning personality!

Review your advert

It can help to review and refine your advert before you publish it. Cut out any unnecessary words, keeping sentence lengths short and sweet. Make sure it reflects you and your personality accurately.

Contact potential flatmates or tenants

Take a look at some flat share adverts and get in touch with people who might be suitable. You can even copy and paste the web URL for your ad into an email, so they will be able to see your ad instantly.

Not getting results?

If, after a few days, you are not getting any responses or are having difficulty finding a suitable match, review your ad. Make sure it is simple but gives enough information about you to entice people. If you still have no joy, ask Outlet for some advice. It’s our mission in life to help you find a great tenant.

Finding a tenant
Presentable property

The appearance of your property has a direct impact on the rent you can charge and the quality of tenant you will attract. Make sure it looks its best. Some of the things you should consider are:

  • Do the carpets need cleaning?
  • Is there mould in the bathroom?
  • Are kitchen surfaces and cupboards clean?
  • Is the oven clean?
  • Is the garden tidy?
  • Do windows open and close properly?
  • Is the furniture all clean and presentable?
  • Do the walls need painting?
  • Would you live there?

You should also make sure everything is in good working order.

That includes:

  • Radiators
  • Boilers
  • Taps
  • Kitchen cupboards and drawers
  • Are sinks, baths, showers letting the water flow out with the tap on full?
  • Do all the lights work?
  • Do all the plugs work?
  • Do the fans (bathroom, hob, kitchen) work?
  • Are extractor fans powerful enough to absorb damp?
Rent

If you’re unsure how much rent to charge, the best thing to do is check the price of renting somewhere similar in your area. You can do this by looking at the properties on our website. Once you are on the property listings page, look to the top right corner, where you will see the average rent for the area.

HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) licences

Since 6 April 2006, it has been a legal requirement for all landlords with an HMO to get a licence. We recommend you check with the council for the area in which your property is located to find out whether you need one. Policies can vary from one council to another.

Do you live in the property too?

You need to pay the bills, but you also want someone that is a good match for you, and your home. So the first thing you need to do is advertise the room. Then, you need to find the perfect housemate. Read on for some tips on how to get it right.

Make sure your place is flatmate-ready

Fix those little things you have put off doing for ages, like a lick of paint here and there or finally giving the place a thorough clean. And why not set aside some space for a new tenant in your fridge to make them feel welcome?

Choosing the right person

Think carefully about the type of person you want to live with. And keep in mind that first and foremost, you want someone that will pay the rent, and be compatible with you and your lifestyle. If they turn out to be your new best friend, well, that’s a bonus.

What do I do now? Interview people!

This doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Sometimes, it is a good idea to have a chat over the phone or by email first. This can help you find out more about someone and save you time. If you believe you have found someone who might be suitable, arrange a meeting or viewing.

On the day of the visit

There are a few things to remember when you have a potential tenant or new flatmate coming round. Follow our checklist below so you don’t miss anything:

  • Tidy up
  • Prepare the questions you would like to ask (it’s ok to write them down)
  • Make them feel at home. The more at ease people are, the more likely they are to be themselves
  • Finally, a cup of tea is a nice touch
Trust your instincts

Remember that you will have to live with the person you choose. If you feel unsure about someone, you can keep looking. Equally, even if you find someone perfectly charming, it’s still a good idea to check all the important things such as references, financial information and social aspects.

Don’t make a decision on the spot

You don’t have to give an answer to a potential flatmate when they are in your property. You can tell them you will be in touch, and that you have a few more people looking at the room/property. This gives you both a chance to have a think about it and consider if it is the right move.

Types of lettings for live-in Landlords

If you want to rent a room out in the property you live in, there are a number of options available to you. Such as:

Seasonal lettings

Do you have a room available for the summer, over a weekend festival or during a sporting event? Contact your local tourist information service or Outlet for help on how to go about renting your room out short-term for a particular event.

Weekday only tenants

There is a large market for people who want a room to rent from Monday to Friday, particularly in cities like London.

Students

Don’t panic. Not all students are messy party animals. There are many post-graduate or mature students looking for a place where they can live and study in peace. Often language schools pay rent directly, which means you can be more certain you will get your rent.

Landlords obligations

Being a good, considerate landlord will often result in having good, considerate tenants. Here are a few things you should know:

Visiting the property

You must let you tenants know 48 hours before a visit that you will be attending the property.

A habitable home

Under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, you must ensure your property is suitable for people to live in. If you wouldn’t consider renting your property to a friend, then you may want to make a few improvements.

Eviction notice

The details of a potential eviction, such as how much notice you have to give tenants, should be stated in the contract.

Ensure you’re insured

Make sure you consider every eventuality when taking out landlords or household insurance. This can cover a wide range of potential problems, from the loss of rental income to major structural repairs. We recommend that you get advice from a reputable insurer, broker or adviser.

Gas safety

As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your tenants are not at risk from any faults in your property. This includes gas appliances. Check the Health and Safety Executive’s website for more information about what you need to do.

Still need some help?

Remember, at LetRentShare, we are here to help. If you still have any questions about placing a good advert, or about your responsibilities as a landlord, get in touch.