There is ‘no rhyme or reason’ to the UK rental market. It used to be seasonal with summer and Christmas being very quiet. However, over the last few years the letting market is generally busy. There is no real dip in activity. Places come on to Rightmove, Zoopla, OpenRent or Pets Lets, you email or call the agent and the property has been let.
More agents and landlords prefer a prospective tenant to see the property in person or be seen by a representative, such as a friend, family member or a relocation agent. Seeing a WhatsApp video for many is not enough. It is hard to see every part of the property and therefore put forward an offer with any meaningful special conditions. As a landlord you know there will be an ‘issue’ from the tenant upon moving in.
Landlords prefer tenants who know what they want and get on with it. Make an offer, counter-offer quickly and come to a swift agreement. When negotiations are ‘drawn’ out, interest from the landlord can ‘wane’, which invites offers from other people. Be decisive includes paying the 1 week holding deposit asap. I have been in the situation, been on hold with the agent getting payment details, whilst a colleague got a counter-offer. Make sure you send an agent or landlord a screenshot as proof of transfer.
Good communication is more likely to be reciprocated by a landlord. They will value you as a tenant and want to keep you happy.
Take the emotion out of it
9 times out of 10 the landlord is all about the best offer, and a responsible tenant who will pay the rent on time. This is particularly true with buy to let landlords. All about the ‘bottom line’ and length of tenancy.
When dealing with a professional landlord who has a property portfolio, here is an important tip. They just want to know the tenant can pay, have minimal special requests, such as painting, re-carpeting and fixing up the property, to keep costs down, and then of course, how long are they planning to rent for.
An experienced landlord has been there and done it. They have seen tenants come and go and know what they are looking for.
Start with the salary and affordability. When do the tenants want to move in and is there a big void period. Don’t want to lose too many days rent. Any special requests and additional costs.
Wear and tear on the property. How many people, is it a family or sharers and do they have pets. Interestingly, professional landlords are less concerned about pets. Many prefer house cats as they sleep a lot or small dogs. Quantity of pets is another factor. Also, if the property is unfurnished or has wooden flooring, then pets and damage is less of an issue.
They are not so interested in sealed bids and the personal profiles. That is why, and at Pets Lets we have successfully done so with our Relocation Service, is get an asking price offer in first before the rest. In one scenario, we offered an extra ‘good will gesture’ for allowing our clients dogs. It was agreed and the next day’s viewings were cancelled. The landlord was happy and that was it.
Meeting the landlord in person
If you are able to meet the landlord in person rather than via an agent, then use that time to ask questions. If you are interested in the property, then show it. You want to stand out amongst the rest. Talk about your position.
I am a landlord. Recently, I did some viewings on a flat. There were 2 parties that stood out to me. One in particular, that I hoped would offer. They did and then the other party counter-offered. In the end I went with a lower offer, because I felt they were a more ‘solid’ offering. I just felt the party with the higher offer, would be a ‘trickier’ tenant. I went with my gut feeling. That is what some landlords do after having met the tenants in person. Making a positive impression on a landlord is important.
At the end of the day, the offer is the beginning of the ‘relationship’ so you want to get it right.
The landlord letting their own home
This is a more complicated situation. Here the landlord lived in the property and is very attached. Sometimes too much so and that is a warning sign to tenants. We had a case where the client’s dogs were accepted but not allowed on the beige carpets in the main bedroom which led on to the patio door. Completely unreasonable and we pulled out of the deal.
We just had another recent situation where the landlord asked for an extra £250pcm to cover the carpet replacement at the end of the tenancy. The assumption that renting with pets would damage the carpets. I can’t imagine any landlord asking that of a family with small children.
We declined the offer and the client found another property. My client found it borderline ‘insulting’ as they are responsible. The chances are if they had accepted, then you would probably have had to deal with regular landlord inspections. Relations would certainly have been ‘strained’.
At the end of the day, this is your home, which you pay for. A landlord who is very ‘emotionally’ attached to a property could be problematic for tenants during the tenancy and at the end of it. Any potential damage will be heavily scrutinised, which could result in a dispute over the security deposit. If faced with some a predicament, then look to Tenancy Guru for advice.
Communication via an Estate Agent
Communication is so important. If you are interested in a property. Talk to the agent. Find out more about the landlord and ‘what makes them tick’. Is it about the highest offer? Is it about a tenant who can move is asap or is it the longevity of the tenancy? Is it a professional landlord or did they live there. If the latter, was it a family, do they have a pet? A pet owning tenant will be more open to being a pet friendly property.
These are all points to bear in mind when putting together your proposal to a landlord. The more bespoke the better.
This article was written by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, the UK’s pet-friendly property portal where landlords welcome pets. We work with clients from around the world looking to relocate with their pets to the UK. A hub of information & where you can create your own pet cv. Passionate about pets & property.