How to host the perfect house viewing

Inviting prospective tenants to view your property is a crucial step in the process of renting for any landlord. It can be the difference between signing a contract or having that empty room or home. You might know your property boasts a fantastic location and desirable amenities, but if you don’t host the viewing well, this can lead to potential tenants heading for the door.

While you need to judge whether the tenant is reliable and suitable for your property, you must also ensure they are impressed with you as a landlord. Our South East London Estate agents offer landlords the opportunity to show prospective tenants around the property themselves. It’s a two-way deal and you need to hold up your end as much as they do theirs. It comes down to you to make sure that you host the perfect house viewing. Here’s what you need to consider.

Dealing and communicating with current tenants

You need to discuss with your current tenants if they will be in or out during the viewing. The Housing Act of 2004 states that you must give at least 24 hours’ notice before planning to enter the property, and you can only do this with the permission of the tenant.

Not only is it breaking the law if you show up unannounced and enter the property, but it gives the potential tenant an immediate bad impression of you as a landlord. If your tenant is in the property, discuss with them if they would like to be involved. Having your current tenant talk to prospective new tenants can be a great opportunity.

Know your property inside out

Which way is the sun facing? How much is the average heating bill? How many plug sockets are there in the living room? People will come with a list of questions they want answering and some may catch you off guard. You need to know enough to show that you care about the property and know it well. If you don’t know an answer, say you will check and let them know as soon as possible (always remember to follow up on this).

Be as useful as Google with your local knowledge

People want to know as much about the local area as they do the house itself. If somebody is moving to South East London from North London, they’ll want to know the differences. Make sure you know exactly where all the local amenities, such as supermarkets and schools are plus distances to bus stops, the cost of a ticket to another zone in London. It’s this other knowledge that demonstrates you not only care about the home but also the location.

Get to know the prospective tenants

There is nothing worse for tenants than being rushed through a house viewing. People are investing a lot of money into something very important. The last thing they want to do is feel like simply another number coming to view the property. You really want to get to know them, so ask them questions: How is their property hunt going? What are they looking for? This also means you can highlight parts of the property which you think are suited to their needs.
Anthony Sargent is the managing director of an estate agent in Camberwell and South East London.  

Fish Need Water strives to empower London homeowners to let or sell their properties with confidence.