Landlords favour referenced tenants over higher rents

By Will Leyland, 08 September 2016

Landlords have been polled about their top priorities when looking for new tenants and there have been some surprising results. As the rental market goes through changes in the way it operates, it is interesting to note how landlords viewed priorities when looking for new tenants.

When asked about their most important issues in selecting a letting agent, new research which surveyed 2,506 landlords across the country shows that ensuring potential tenants have passed reference checks came in as the top priority for landlords. The survey shows that nearly 70% of landlords cited this as a highly important consideration.

The new report found that rent achieved on a property did not appear in the top three factors taken into account by landlords when selecting an agent, with speed of let and trained management staff cited as the second and third priorities.

41% of landlords cited finding long term tenants as a key factor, indicating that landlords value reliable and consistent tenants over those that will pay higher rents. Unsurprisingly, 66% of landlords surveyed also mentioned speed of let as a key priority, reflecting the need to avoid empty properties and loss of income.

These concerns have made the need for good and reliable letting agents very prominent. As the demand in the property market continues to shift towards the Private Rented Sector (PRS) amid plummeting home ownership rates and rocketing prices, landlords are finding themselves with less time to ensure these priorities are seen to.

The PRS has seen major improvements in recent times and in many ways it is becoming harder and harder for rogue tenants or landlords to operate thanks to more robust systems and legislation.

As the need for better property management has increased so too has the requirement for excellent customer service and management from letting companies. Where once it was easy for poor quality landlords, agents, and tenants to operate, increased scrutiny and higher quality practices have improved matters for everyone.

Agents have now made it much easier for seamless relationships between landlords and tenants, taking on time consuming and frustrating tasks such as arranging regular maintenance for properties, fully referencing potential tenants and obtaining timely rent payments. This is in turn has allowed landlords to continue with higher priority tasks and avoided friction with tenants who often need swift action taking in order to resolve property issues.

As a result, landlords are enjoying much longer tenancies as customer service has improved dramatically. We can expect standards to continue rising across the sector and for performances to follow suit as the year draws to a close and economic figures confirm that the housing market is as strong as ever.

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