5 Tips for Finding and Vetting Residential Tenants Abroad

5 Tips for Finding and Vetting Residential Tenants Abroad

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Regular readers to the site will know that this is the next installment in a series of articles giving how to tips on buy to let property investment abroad, the first covered the potential pitfalls of buy to let investment abroad, and the second covered the potential pitfalls of buying off plan property overseas.

This one covers the next step in the process; after you have researched your market, researched and bought your property, here are 5 tips on finding good tenants, including some tips on vetting tenants, all from professional buy to let landlords.

1: Put yourself in the Tenants Shoes, and think like them

This really comes down to knowing your target market; if you want to rent to students then you will want to advertise in the university. If you plan to let to locals then an ad in the local press is probably a good idea. You will also want to have a to let sign created, as many people drive around the area they wish to live or move to.

2: Speak to Several Local Letting Agents

This is the best way to find out how to find tenants for your buy to let property abroad. It is also a really good way to learn about the local rental market: rental rates, is rent payable in advance, does the tenant pay the administrative fees etc etc. However, you should already know some of this if you have done your research before buying correctly.

3: Speak to Local Hospitals

Most hospital staff will be very helpful in telling you whether or not your property is in their catchment area. Also advertising in universities and hospitals is always very cheap and generally very effective.

4: Know the Market

In many overseas markets (especially the less developed, eg. Central Eastern Europe, and, I imagine, many other regions in the world) you can’t really do much of tenant vetting, because it’s not usual to check any references or credit score the potential tenant. Because it is unheard of to do so, the tenants will laugh in your face and you’d never let your property if you tried to do so. So you need to know what the market supports and what not, and adjust yourself to it.

5: Hire a Local Letting Agent – Where Possible

As long as it is not going to cut into your cash-flow too much; hiring a letting agent is a very good idea to let a property abroad on a residential basis. Agents will be best placed to re-let a property quickly if a tenant leaves, and will also make your life a lot less worrisome about what you are going to do if your tenant doesn’t pay the rent, and about the state your property is being kept in.

Hiring a local letting agent will also save you from having to worry about vetting tenants, because they will do it for you. They will also do it a lot better than you.

Many thanks to Petra Gajdosikova and Dawn Gray, the professional landlords who assisted in this article, written by Liam Bailey of Property Abroad.com.