1. ‘It’s all about the money’
The first concern of any landlord is ‘will this person pay’.
Whatever you can do towards proving this is going to help a lot. Here’s some things to try:
- Get a copy of your credit report and try to resolve any issues on there if possible. There may be items on there you can either pay off or dispute to get them removed.
- If you have a low credit score because you have not used credit, consider taking out a store card or mobile phone contract, but only if you are comfortable with paying it off with no problems.
- Look at other ways of demonstrating financial security – have bank statement, wage slips and similar available to demonstrate you current income. You may even want to consider sharing your household budget.
2. ‘What have they broken this time?’
The next concern of most landlords is whether you will look after their property.
Especially for private landlords, they may have put a lot of time, effort and money into decorating and furbishing the flat or house. They are going to look for someone who indicates they are going to look after it:
- If you’ve never had your own property before, you’ll need to work harder to demonstrate that you know how to clean and maintain a home.
- Make sure your current home is tidy. Landlords will often take up references from your current landlord, and after checking you have been paying on time they will checking that the property has not been damaged.
- Turn up to viewings wearing neat and clean clothes. Obviously work clothes are acceptable, but if you look untidy the prospective landlord may be concerned about the same happening to the property.
- Avoid discussing the epic parties you are planning on having!
3. ‘Just leave me alone, would you!’
Most private landlords don’t want to be hassled. The ideal tenant is one that pays on time and never calls.
Practically speaking, this will not always happen and certainly if there is a maintenance issue most landlords would like to know about it sooner rather than later. So how can you demonstrate that you will be an ‘easy’ tenant?
- Show that you know what parts of maintenance and cleaning are your responsibility.
- Ask sensible questions about the property, but try to avoid asking questions that indicate you are the sort of person who calls at 11PM to ask how to turn on the light in the cupboard.
- Be easy to get hold of – return the landlords calls promptly so that if there is a maintenance issue they know they can get hold of you to arrange access quickly.
4. ‘Just sign here’
Understand your legal rights – and responsibilities.
Demonstrating a basic understanding of the legal rights and responsibilities will make most landlords more comfortable (but may make slightly dodgy ones run a mile!) If there’s the opportunity demonstrate that you:
- Understand a contract is generally for a minimum term and you are liable for rent, even if you decide to leave early.
- Understand the deposit protection requirements, if you are asked for a deposit.
- Will help the landlord comply with the building rules and legal obligations, such as by not wedging fire doors open, leaving rubbish around the building or having unauthorised pets.
- Know how and when to give notice if planning on staying longer or ending your tenancy.
5. ‘How’s the family?’
Landlords are not interested in your personal life, except where this could impact your ability to pay.
Most landlords will be more favourable if:
- You show you are in a stable relationship if you are moving in as a couple or family. Perhaps mention that you’ve been together for 8 years, or that you are engaged.
- Have family connections to the area, as you are more likely to stay and have help if anything goes wrong.
- Are not planning a sudden, drastic career change
While you are looking for the best property to live in, the landlord is looking for the best tenant – if you can get as close to the ideal as possible you are more likely to get that perfect flat or house.