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You want the best tenants for your rental property

then when its time for selling a tenanted property you want them to stay

This article is about finding good tenants in the first place, looking after them so they choose to stay.  A good landlord will have a hands-on approach when finding the right tenants so that the process is not just a number-crunching exercise.  There is advice here for the selection process.  Then we look at selling a property with tenants and why selling a tenanted property with good tenants is an advantage.

Attracting Good Tenants

Good tenants should expect high standards.  Presenting the property in a good state of repair is the first key element of attracting good tenants.  The better quality the fit and finish the better the chance of attracting good tenants.  Presenting a property in good condition shows respect for the tenants and sends the message of how you want them to care for the property.

White Goods

If any white goods are included in the tenancy, then these should be in good, clean condition and of a reputable brand known for reliability and quality.  Show tenants that you care about them by fitting better brands.  Fitting out with Beko is an insult to the tenants, many who will remember the safety concerns around that budget brand a few years ago.

Fitting electricals from brands like AEG, Bosch and Zanussi ensures that you are less likely to be putting your hands in your pockets for repairs and replacements or having to deal with disgruntled tenants because the equipment has failed again.

Kerb Appeal

Maintain the front garden and outside areas well when the property is on the rental market.  The same rules apply for kerb appeal as when selling a property.

Clear Advertisement and Phone Interviews

Create a well-written advertisement with a good and honest description that has good, clear photographs.  A good advert for a fairly priced rental property should create plenty of interest.

Screen all potential tenants at the phone call stage.  Explain that you want the property to be their long term home and for the tenants, you pick to be happy there.  Time spent at this early stage prevents wasting time showing unsuitable tenants round later.

Talk to them about anything that concerns you and what your expectations are.  Remember that the perfect tenant probably does not exist!

  • Ask them what attracted them to the property
  • Find out who is going to be living there. Take details of all potential residents
  • Enquire about their ability to pay the rent
  • Ask about criminal records of any potential tenant or visitor
  • You simplify the process by having predetermined requirements that are easy to compare.

Shortlist the Tenants

When you have your shortlist of potential tenants contact them and explain that you will personally show them around and that you want to meet all potential residents.

Let them know that you will need landlord references, character references and information regarding any previous rent arrears, evictions and county court judgements.  However, don’t discount potential tenants who have reached this stage.  Hear them out about the reasons for the mark or marks against them.  It may be that someone was evicted during a marital breakup that is all done and finished with now and they are successfully building a new life.

When you select the best candidates make sure that you complete the right to rent paperwork, start the process for the deposit scheme and undertake any checks that you consider necessary to check that they are suitable tenants.

Why You Shouldn’t Refuse Pets

Since deposits were capped it is increasingly difficult for even the best tenants with pets to find quality accommodation.  If the potential tenants have a dog or dogs, ask to meet the dog/s when they view or as part of a return visit if they stack up as favourites.  Pet’s enhance people’s lives, increase responsibility and should not be prejudiced against because of stories about the few bad pet owners. Housetrained dogs and other pets add stability and should not be overlooked as potential advantages.  Tenants with pets who want a quality home will make the extra effort to keep the home to a high standard. Because they know how difficult it is to find another place, they are also more likely to stay longer and pay their rent on time.


Children are lovely, but they can be disruptive and damaging to property.  Meeting the children and seeing how they behave gives you an idea of behaviour and how these little people are likely to treat your property.  You can include damage repair requirements in the tenancy agreement. If the property you are renting is a period property you may wish to stipulate no children.  However, if the home is three or more bedrooms and therefore an ideal family home, then interviewing and considering the families who apply carefully should help you choose the right family for the home.

Rental Agreement

When the rental agreement is drawn up, make sure that it includes any stipulations that you have discussed with the tenants during the selection process.  This avoids problems or conflict later on.


If you have let the property to a family or those with pets, more frequent inspections during the early part of the tenancy should help to put your mind at rest that the property is not being damaged. Ensure that frequency of inspections is included in the agreement.

Selling a Property with Tenants

So, let’s assume you have good tenants who are happy in their home and you want to sell the property.   Selling a tenanted property is as easy as selling any property, but if you want to attract the right buyers it’s prudent to ensure that the property is marketed as one that is a rental property that you are selling a tenanted property.

Ask to meet with the tenants for a five-minute chat.  Explain that you are selling the property.  Offer them first refusal to buy the property, but put a timescale on their response.  Assuming they are not going to take you up on the first refusal option then you are likely to be selling the property as an investment property to other landlords. Then advise them that you are selling a tenanted property and will make that clear to potential buyers.

Your tenants will feel insecure when they know that their home is being sold.  You can reassure them that all that is changing is the landlord.  However, there is nothing to stop the new landlord from evicting them, so they are right to feel insecure.

Generally, though selling a property as an investment with good tenants in situ will attract buyers who want a rental property without the hassle of finding tenants.  If your tenants have always paid on time, kept the place well and not caused any problems in the neighbourhood then they should be secure.  The new investor is going to want model tenants and will just take over the rental income without having to do anything to earn it.

Many investors will see established good tenants as a blessing, they won’t have to decorate the property, look after it whilst it is empty or find suitable tenants.

Check our selling a property with tenants article for more information about selling a tenanted property.

Other places that have advice for landlords selling a property with tenants:

Landlord blog / Life has an article about selling a tenanted property here:

Rightmove have information about selling a property with tenants here:

Selling a tenanted property from their perspective advice here: