Tenants - how to get ahead of the game

Posted on 12th July 2023

We can sometimes get more than 30 tenants wanting a single property. This is not an exaggeration but more a reflection on high demand and low stock levels in the rental market – a trend we’ve seen for a few years now.

As a tenant, we can appreciate this can be extremely frustrating. Especially when your landlord may have sold your current property, you are relocating for work and need somewhere to live or you’ve sold your property and can’t find somewhere else to buy.

Whatever your circumstances, we’ve compiled a brief list of what landlords will look for and what makes for a strong tenancy application.

  • A good credit score. This is proof that you can manage money well and there are a number of things you can do to improve your score. Take out a credit card and pay off whatever you spend straight away to avoid late payment charges. For example, you might just put your food shopping and petrol on your card and pay it off a few days later. You should also register to vote as this helps improve your credit score. The last thing which is useful is to sign up for a free Experian account. You’ll get your credit score emailed to you every month – it’s a handy tool to keep an eye out if there’s any problems (we often gets tenants who have CCJs on their credit file they know nothing about).
  • Long-term employment with a permanent contract. If you’re on a temporary or zero-hour contract or you’ve just started a new job, landlords will be more inclined to opt for a tenant with a long-term position as this will offer them more security.
  • If not in employment, proof of benefits which exceeds 30x the monthly rent with a strong guarantor – someone who has a good credit history, is a homeowner and is working full-time on a permanent contract.
  • If you’re self-employed, an established business with accounts to prove you earn what you say you earn. Net profit is what we’ll be looking at and self-employed people regularly tell us they earn a figure which doesn’t marry up with what their accountants tell us. Please be honest and research this before you apply.
  • A good rental history and landlord reference. If you move property every 6 months this won’t impress landlords as they’ll worry you will move out of their property after 6 months as well. Landlords generally want long-term tenants.

Registering with our offices (we are based in Darlington, Chester-le-Street, Crook and Durham) means you’ll be notified instantly when a new property matching your criteria comes to the market and is well worth doing. If you’re only relying on checking Rightmove on a night after work, you might miss out as sought after properties tend to get fully booked up within the space of a few hours of going live.