What Makes a Good Renter?

What makes a good Renter?

New & inexperienced landlords often ask me “what makes a really good renter in Harrogate?”

This is a large and varied topic, so to start in brief, let’s leave on one side the issues of purchase price, capital growth, BTL (Buy To Let mortgages) and taxation efficiency. Let’s also assume that you have instructed Myrings to act as your Letting Agent on a fully managed basis and there are no issues in respect to the accreditation of tenants, collection of rent, inventories, maintenance, or quarterly inspections.

Instead lets focus hard on Rents, Rentability and Yields.

Rents and yields in Harrogate are generally strong, however it is possible to get an even better return on your investment by carefully observing the local marketplace and the requirements of targeted tenants as well as listening to the advice of a good local Letting agent.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that great presentation and staging of your property can considerably increase the rentability and help to minimise voids. Other important factors to consider as a landlord are flexibility including potential start dates, length of tenancy, pets, type of furnishing and pre tenancy works. Flexibility can help to achieve a better rent and more quickly.

Broadly speaking 3 Bed Semis with gardens & Terraces with private rear courtyards will always rent well with few voids. Prime locations as per those in Hospital “dormitory “ areas/school catchments/bus & rail routes/stations always attract a premium rent and maximise rentability.

Off street or private parking is also a big consideration in Harrogate and greatly enhances the desirability of most properties. This bonus is especially welcomed by parents with school age children who are usually doing lots of shopping, working and ferrying children to and from school.

At the other end of the scale, single tenants value the extra security. Five lever locks on all outside doors, door chains and a peephole viewer cost next to nothing to install but can pay handsome dividends in rent return & rentability. A similar situation applies to “crash pads” which are usually safe “lock up & leavers” and are in demand from young professionals (singles & couples) who work out of town or overseas and only return home at the weekends.

Naturally I’m sometimes asked – “what are the worst mistakes I can make when purchasing a rental property?”

Apart from the obvious one of buying an unsuitable or overpriced property in the wrong part of town, may well be to let your property to a friend. To put it simply – DON’T. Letting property is a serious undertaking and should be treated as a business. There is little room for sentiment if things don’t work out. In addition, we would also say, please don’t try and be your tenants best friend. All dealings should be through us, your managing Letting agent. Tenants often react better to a third party managing agent as they feel that it offers them security and a place to discuss tenancy matters in confidence.

We would also say that if you have any key non- negotiables then tell us at the marketing stage. If you prefer not to let your property to smokers or to people with pets then we will work with your requirements to find suitable tenants matching your criteria. Our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement specifies no pets and smokers. One final note regarding pets is that many of our landlords leave this open to negotiation and will base a decision on number of animals, size and breed. As I have mentioned above, flexibility can help and opens up a broader market. Extra deposit and pet disclaimers are just a few of the measures we put in place to protect the landlords property.

Having said all the above, I would say that the biggest mistake a new or inexperienced Landlord can make is to instruct the wrong Letting agent. All our fellow mainstream Sales & Letting Agents in Harrogate will do a good professional job which is ok but we believe Myrings “go the extra mile”. Ours is a highly professional, tight knit and friendly team with allocated property managers and our fully managed service is one to trust.

We try very hard to get to really know our Landlords and their property/properties. Some are happy to have longer tenancies with agreed annual rent rises and accept the attendant complications if circumstances change such as wanting to sell the property. Others prefer shorter term tenancies and the flexibility for both sides which this brings. Some Landlords are happy to accept pets , with a higher rent/larger deposit and professional cleaning clauses where as others don’t want to risk any additional “wear & tear”.

We work hard with our Landlords and their tenants to avoid high turnovers and talk to them early about renewals. We aim to avoid an unexpected 11th hour notice that they are moving on even if we have other potential tenants in mind. As all good letting agents should, we also do the tough stuff, for example, we will involve parents who are guarantors for youngsters if there are any cleanliness or possible repair/rent issues. Forging the right friendly/professional relationship from the start is key to any successful tenancy. Successful Lettings progress in a continuous falling domino way. If done in the correct order and right way most tenancies fall smoothly into place with minimum hassle to all the parties concerned.

I would invite any interested parties to come along to Myrings and talk things over with us. All will be in strict confidence and is free and without obligation.

We are here to be of service.

Richard Chapman, Lettings Manager.


About Charles

This blog follows the residential Sales and Lettings market in Harrogate, Knaresborough and surrounding villages.You will find information, analysis and guidance here along with news about Harrogate. I’m Charles Myring working in the Myrings Estate Agents Ltd business alongside my son Simon , daughter Gemma and dedicated sales teams. If you're thinking of Selling / Buying / Letting / Renting property locally Myrings would be happy to assist.