How to let a property in the summer

The summer season can be a frustrating time for letting agents, as they have a number of prime location properties that become available at the same time.

How to let a property in the summer

So what’s the problem?

In most cases, there are also a number of other prime location properties that come on the market with other agencies and landlords. As students finish up renting for the end of the academic year, their rental properties will normally come back on the rental market. With the exodus of students, the market sees a huge jump in the number of available units.

How to let a property in the summer

Having a property vacant for as little as 1 week will see a reduction of 2% in annual rent, bring that vacant period forward to a month and you are looking at a reduction in rent of 8%. One of a properties USPs is the rental amount and if you market the property at the rental value today and not at its peak you should see the property being let within a lot quicker time period. Another post of interest may be How to market a rental property.

Look at the numbers

Example1. Rent of €1000 per month. Vacant for 6 weeks

= loss of rent of €1385.

12 month lease =€12,000-€1,385 =€10,615

Example 2. Rent of €950 per month. Vacant for 1 week

= loss of rent at €220

12 month lease = Annual Rent €11,400 – €220= €11,180


Renting for a reduced rent equals a saving of €565


Reducing the rent by 5% of the peak renting value actually works out at increasing the landlords annual yield by 5% compared to having a void period of 6 weeks. In my opinion, this is how to let a property in the summer.

The main point here is that if you analyse the figures and discuss it, the landlord should not let the concern of a lower rent today impact the result of a higher annual rental yield. 

Going forward

You can try to let the property for a lease term which brings in the property for renewal in August & September in order to increase the yield for your landlord.

By Andreas Riha

Tenancy agreement software

One of the most important tasks in renting a property which needs to be completed is the signing of a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant.  This is known as the “tenancy agreement”, “letting agreement” or “lease”. The objective of the contract is to highlight the rights and responsibilities of all parties – landlord, tenant and letting agent.

As a letting agent or property manager, generating a tenancy agreement is normally quite routine, yet time-consuming. The majority of the tenancy agreement remains the same,with the first couple of pages tailored to that of the property and majority of terms or clauses set in stone according to local law. 

Tenancy agreement software

Tenancy agreement software created here; at Rentview we have looked at how to save time for you, the letting agent, by streamlining the whole administration process around the letting of a property. Not only will the auto generation of the tenancy agreement save you time, but now all your documents can be stored securely online. Being cloud-based, your data is backed up every hour on multi-site servers, so your data is kept secure and up to date at all times. The tenancy agreement can be shared online with both landlord and tenant.

Through our letting agency software, each process within the cycle is streamlined to save you time when you arrive at your next task along the cycle. Take a look at the overview video on our tenancy agreement software to see exactly how easy Rentview makes this process.

tenancy agreement software rentview


If at this time you prefer not to use the tenancy agreement software and want to continue generating your own tenancy agreements, that is fine. Below we have provided a link to free blank tenancy agreements.

Tenancy agreement UK – AST Blank lease

Tenancy agreement Scotland – AT5 Blank lease

& Tenant information pack Scotland

Tenancy agreement Ireland –   Fixed Term blank residential lease


by Rentview

Tenancy agreement software

Property profile page new design

This weekend saw the new design of the property profile page being released. We have been busy listening to our users who have asked for an even quicker way in reconciling rental payments as received and paid to landlords.

property profile page

Now agents can do all of these tasks on the Property Profile Page. However if a rental payment due needs to be edited or history viewed this can still all be done through the Schedule page.

Managing financials

Once your rental payment is received you can process it from your Rentview account to the landlords here also. It will now show the deductions to be taken and held from the rent. You can also click through to the invoice page to add/edit or delete any payments from this invoice. As with the rental schedule page you can also click through to the Statement page to view history etc.

Property Notes

Lastly you can also now add notes to the property which are date stamped with which ever agent left the notes. These notes are for internal use only. 

To find out more about how Rentview’s letting agency software can help your letting agency enquire at

by Rentview

Questions to ask tenants my top 10

Interviewing questions to ask tenants

The property has been painted, advertised, shown and now you have a couple of different sets of tenants that have expressed interest in taking the property. So you think you have all the hard work done in finding a tenant for your property. Well that would be correct now you just have to make sure that the tenants you select are the right tenants.

Here is a list of 10 questions to allow you understand what your tenants are.

Questions to ask tenants

1.       Why are you moving?

It is a straight forward question which should give you the answers you need.  This is a great opening question to ask tenants. The type of answers will be varied but typically- because of my job, looking for more room, prefer this location, lease expired etc. The information you are asking here should match with the references.

First Time Renter -If a tenant has not rented in the past it will be your choice to proceed or not. Every tenant has to start somewhere and just because they have not rented before doesn’t mean they will be bad tenants. Make sure to confirm this later by asking for a current bank statement.

2.       When are you looking to move?

This is obviously important for you as the sooner you will have it rented the sooner you have revenue coming in on the property. Whilst it is always ideal for a tenant to say tomorrow or ASAP make sure you ask follow up questions. How come your looking to move so quickly? There could be a genuine reason behind this and depending on where your property is located the availability might be tight so they could be looking for some time. What you want to do here is see if the tenants story is all coming together on what they have said already.

3.       How many people is in the group?

Just because a set of two tenants come to view the property it doesn’t mean that they will be the only ones living there. You really need to ask this question and back it up by saying it is important for the insurance on the property and it states in the lease that only the named people on the lease can live there.  Tell tale signs of potentially extra tenants are 2 people expressing interest for a 3 bedroom property etc.

4.       What is the total income of the tenants?

This for some can be a difficult question to ask and some tenants might get bothered by you asking it. It is a very important question, just like you get asked about what your salary is before getting a loan. The tenant needs to confirm they have the ability to pay what the rent is every month.  Financial experts suggest that a maximum of 35% of your salary should go on rent. So if a set of tenants are on minimum wage they have a Gross salary of around £2,500 so there maximum rent should be £875 per month.  A copy of a bank statement should confirm all of this.

tenant questions

5.       Has the tenant got a months rent and deposit in advance.

I would highly recommend getting this from any possible tenant. If the tenant is unable to outlay this then I would ask questions on whether they are the right tenants for your property. If there are any doubts that the tenants are unable to hand this over on the move in date the likely hood is that this could be the same with the rent in the future.

6.       How long of a lease are they looking for?

I would suggest here that a 6 month AST lease is the preferred option.  If a tenant says anything to suggest that 6 months is to long of a lease period to commit to walk away.  Tenants can say things like “I want to run the lease in line with my work contract which I only have 3 months left of but I would be certain it will be renewed”. It seems reasonable but if it doesn’t you are going to go through this whole renting process again in 3 months.

7.       That the tenant is happy to rent as is

Having a tenant to move into a property and ask on the lease signing day for a new bed, sofa, wooden floors etc can get things off to a bad start.  This can especially be the case if you have kept the property vacant for a couple of weeks for the tenant. It is going to a financial burden for you to say no and look for a new set of tenants. The best thing to do is ask if the tenant is happy with everything and if not to let you know now. If a tenant finds out the washing machine is broke after a week that is fine but wanting a new one because it has not a large enough drum is a problem.


8.      Rental References

This is very important and although you might you a good ability to read peoples character I would highly recommend backing up the conversation to date with references.

Work reference– A letter to confirm the tenant is currently employed by the company and a name and contact number to confirm. Do not be too worried about full time permanent as a lot of companies do not offer this and prefer 11 month renewable contracts.

Landlord reference – Preferably with a land line to confirm the tenancy with the landlord.

This blog posting on rental references checking might also interest you

Utilities with previous address – This is a good way to confirm the previous address and is essential for a tenant stating it is the first time renting.

Bank Statement – This should confirm the tenant’s ability to pay as it would be best to set up a standing order for rent. It can be used as a utility also but preferably as a separate document.

I.D- Copy of valid Passport or Driving license as a preference

National Insurance number- To confirm the identity and also needed for the PRTB registration.

9.       Any Pets or Do you smoke

Might well seem like obvious questions to ask tenants but I would highly recommend asking them. I have personally seen many leases end due to the above. Some tenants may think its fine to have a pet dog or to smoke in the kitchen of the property. If this is out of bounds for your property make sure to ask.

10.   And lastly…Any questions

This simple question could unearth a reason that this property might not suit this tenant which they may not realise until they move in.

 After all of these questions hopefully you have a better understanding or your new potential tenants and which one suits your property best. If a potential set of tenants do not suit your property you need to walk away as having a tenant in which doesn’t suit can be very costly, stressful and time consuming. I hope this has been helpful for you. If you feel I have left something out in my questions to ask tenants please let me know

by Andreas Riha

Letting agents revenue

I recently got a call from a Rentview subscriber who was hoping to maximize her letting agency revenue opportunities from her current portfolio. 

When we got chatting, we went through what percentage of her landlords had taken the letting agencies full property management package against the let-only service  The response was standard enough with approx 1 in every 4 landlords choosing the full property management package.  So that meant that the remaining 75% were choosing the let only service.

letting agents revenue

Letting agents revenue can be restricted by lack of communication

The problem here is that letting agents will not typically contact a let-only landlord during the lease cycle. The majority of letting agents using letting agency software or an organised filing system will only contact the landlord and tenant in the last month of the lease. The result of this can be rewarding for a letting agency, but what if there was greater communication throughout the lease period? The rewards could be even greater.

In a typical letting and management agent’s portfolio, they have let-only landlords who are midway through a lease period and others that have gone by the initial lease period signed.  So for each type of landlord there could be a different approach used.

Methods to increase letting agents revenue

Mid-lease landlord– a landlord who you helped to find tenants but who is not receiving your management services.

One way to deal with this potential repeat customer could be a quick check-up call with the landlord to see how everything is going with the tenancy. Is there anything that you can help the landlord with? Is there any rent outstanding? Is the tenant maintaining the property? Does the landlord need any advice on new regulations?

Being a landlord isn’t easy, and as you are the experienced professional, you can offer your assistance. It is a great reminder of your services and shows the landlord that you are an agency focused on customer service and increasing your letting agency revenue

Expired lease period landlord–  a landlord who had been contacted at the end of the lease term and wanted to renew the lease himself or let the lease roll.

Here you could use a similar approach to the above but it can also be used as a direct revenue opportunity for your letting agency. Why not offer something for free to this landlord, like a quick midterm inspection? A midterm inspection is a quick drop into the property to see how everything is going. This typically won’t take more than 5 minutes inside the rental property with the tenants, followed up with a call to the landlord.

Better still why not offer the landlord a detailed midterm inspection report? This typically would involve pictures along with notes on the property condition, items which may need attention and give the landlord a feel for how is property is being maintained.

increase letting agency revenue

What you can charge will depend on how you deliver the inspection. I know that letting agents using the Digital Inventory reports are charging somewhere around £80 for this service. A digital inventory report includes detailed date-stamped and geo-tagged photos, detailed condition reports and is all accessible on the cloud. Check out how to use the Rental Property Inventory App.

Your portfolio and your clients are your letting agency’s assets and if you don’t take good care of them they will depreciate. Letting agencies that want a better way to manage their property management portfolio may be interested in our Letting Agency Software.

Letting agents’ revenue on let-only clients should not be restricted to an annual letting or renewal fee. By offering additional services and communicating with landlords, letting agents can increase revenue!

by Andreas Riha


Letting industry challenges

What is the biggest challenge in the letting industry today?

This is a question I ask letting agents regularly, and it seems that winning new instructions is one of the biggest letting industry challenges out there at the moment. With rental properties being in such high demand there has never been a better time to rent property. With the average tenancy term increased and more people renting – it’s simply supply and demand. So what can letting agents do to increase their rental listings?

Where do most of your tenants find your listings at the moment?

Letting industry shop window


The internet is the majority of letting agents’ biggest shop window and a lot of the time it is better than any shop window on the high street. The problem is that many agents neglect their own website thinking that just because it is live it will get them new listings from landlords. However, the internet is a very busy high street and if you’re not managing your website correctly the competition is going to attract the lion’s share.

I mean, you would not open a letting agency and not place a sign over the door or advertise the fact that you are a letting agency, would you? I would not have thought so, but this is what some agencies are doing on the internet. So how can you find out how easy you are to find on the internet for potential landlords, and tenants for that matter? Begin some search engine research today! SEO  or search engine optimization is important for all businesses, including those within the letting industry, who have an online presence nowadays. For more information on SEO, see our blogs below.


Blogs which may interest you on this topic

Find out more about letting agency seo

How to win customers through a Google adwords advertising campaign

by Andreas Riha


Why landlords should choose a letting & management agent

Property Management & Lettings Special- Article taken from 

The rental market in Ireland is proving itself to be one that is the antithesis of boom/bust scenario that we have witnessed in the property sales market of the 1990s/2000s. Instead, it’s a market that has been built up solidly and that is continuing to grow but at a modest rate and without any spikes or troughs in values. 

One agent with over 20 years of experience in the Cork city market puts it thus: “We’re finding that there’s good demand for rental properties, particularly for good-quality property. I don’t know if rental values are on the up; they’re remaining steady in an environment of rising demand.”

“The investor is definitely back in the market, we’re noticing,” says another Cork city agent, who says that yields of between 9% and 16% are too good for those who have money to invest to simply ignore.

An entirely new beast

The property market in Munster and elsewhere is simply not the same as it was and today’s average young working adult is living in a world where a stable rental agreement is something that is important, desirable and perfectly normal.

“Back 15-20 years ago, when couples were settling down in their mid-to-late twenties, they were nearly always looking with the option of buying. The idea of renting was something that was not really encountered by people who were out of their student years and out of their initial years of finding their feet in a job.

“The profile of tenants has completely changed. Many would be renting for five years or more before considering buying and many might be married with children.”

Put another way, there has never been a time like the present one to be in the rental market. It’s a market that’s showing a combination of stability and growth that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Today’s tenant is someone interested in a solid long-term relationship with his/her landlord and who expects a good standard of property in move-in condition. Demand is strong for convenient small apartments in central urban areas but the sort of property that is in even more demand is the three and four-bedroom semi-detached houses, which are getting between €800 and €900 per month in Cork and urban areas.

Taking the stress out

In any financial and legal transaction between two parties, it is desirable to have a middle man. Obligations have to be fulfilled and everything needs to be done according to the letter of the law.

And the law is becoming more complicated and involved all the time. In the case of tenancy agreements, there’s a whole raft of elements that simply weren’t there ten years ago, with more coming down the track. There’s the job of ensuring that the property is listed with the PRTB (Private Residential Tenancies Board) for a start. That’s an important one quite apart from the legal requirement, because the board can also act as intermediaries should any dispute arise. When you’re in a well-organised process such as this, there aren’t normally many problems, but the course of life and that of business never runs smoothly and it’s usually a case of the little things accumulating that can add to the burden of the landlord. There’s the BER (Building Energy Rating) certificate – something that can’t be forgotten. The BER system may have come in for criticism in some circles, but it’s generally accepted at this point as an attempt to ensure good energy standards and transparency. Moreover, it’s a legal requirement and another box amongst a growing list of boxes to be ticked.

Rental agents are happy to tick those boxes. That whole side of the business and how it has evolved is something that comes as second nature to them. They are the ones who are up to date with issues such as the property tax and other obligations that are yet to come.

“Today’s tenants do expect fittings and white goods to be included and all in good working order too,” says one agent involved in both rental management and property sales, underlining the importance of the agent in a well-regulated world where the obligations on the landlord are increasing.

The rental agent, on the other hand, is a professional in the business and all of the above are part and parcel of his/her daily professional routine. By using an agent, therefore, you reduce your own stress levels as well as those of everyone else involved; a win-win situation all round.

Access to a rich seam

The other great advantage of using a letting agent for anyone landlord or potential landlord is the access it gives you to a bank of clients.

For someone looking to find their market of potential tenants, there is simply no better way of getting immediate access to such a considerable chunk of that specific target market.

By engaging a letting agent, the market is brought to you on a plate. The Powell agency in Cork city, for example, has a bank of clients/tenants that’s somewhere in the region of 1,500 – a figure that would not be uncommon. It’s the kind of figure that would be difficult to generate by a landlord operating on their own, even with a wealth of computer marketing skills or any kind of marketing skills behind him.

Selecting the right tenant for you

Screening the applicants is a job that’s every bit as important as agreeing the rental amount and how to pay it. If the tenant is the right one – i.e. someone who has a relatively long-term interest in the location and accommodation type of your property – they are naturally motivated to taking good care of your property and of the relationship with his/her landlord.

This vital function is, again, one that is at the fingertips of those who are in the business and who have built up a level of knowledge and expertise that only they can truly provide.

It’s very important that you’re very diligent with regard to checking references.

Powell using global view to maximum effect in growing sector

Powell Property on the South Mall in Cork city is a company involved in all aspects of the property market, from sales to lettings and property management.

This all-round experience, they say, means that they’re in a position to understand the overall dynamics of the market as well as anyone out there and understand what landlord tenants want from a management service, for example: “Traditionally, we noticed that a lot of landlords might have four or five rental properties,” says principal Michael Powell.

“They would have rents coming in on different days. They’d be trawling through bank statements to see what rental income they had, what their expenses were. We cut all that hassle out and we give them a full ledger report on any income and expenditure for the year, and of course our management fees are completely tax-deductible as well. So from the income tax point of view, it’s very beneficial as well for a landlord or an investor to employ an agent.

“We would also send out a renewal notice 31 days before the lease is due to expire,” says Michael, referring to an aspect of property management that not all agents might carry out quite as thoroughly.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cloud computing systems – the answer is in the cloud!

Cloud computing systems – benefits to agents

Included  below is a short video explaining what the term ‘cloud computing system’ means is and and how it can help your business. A great quote from the video which sums up the term cloud computing is below:

A simple and more efficient way of buying and using technology‘. I will comment below on how it can specifically help your agency.


So in short, the benefits include:

  • cutting out a lot of the work previously done in securing software systems for your business like the servers
  • backing up data
  • licences being paid up front and its limitations.

Through the use of an in-house cloud based system an agency can manage all its clients information in one easy to access location- from tenant references to landlord accounts and maintenance invoices you only need a wifi connection and your login! Great right?

Services are delivered via the internet whether its accounts software or a customer relationship management  system or an overall enterprise software package. A letting agent can also pick and choose to what suits them with most SAAS (software as a service) providers will only charge you for a package that suits you and on a monthly subscription basis.

The speed at which you can operate your day to day running of the agency will drastically increase as you begin to automate re-occurring services or move them to the cloud rather than hard data. That’s it in a nutshell, the ability to transform your agency!

by Rentview

Property inventory report

Following on from last week’s Video Blog (Rental property inventories and why agents should provide them) I now wanted to show you how easy and quick creating a Rentview inventory actually is. Here I go through how easy creating a property inventory report is.

Rentview inventory reports are a great way of creating a transparent renting experience for both clients (landlord & tenant) for a letting agency. By creating a property inventory report at the start of a lease, an agent can now improve the offering to the landlord and tenant. It will also reduce the possibility of disputes at the end of a lease term regarding the condition of a property. 

by Andreas Riha

Property Management Blog: Pest Control – How to avoid Rats and Mice


Today im going to blog about one of the most common pests that landlords, tenants and property managers have to deal with in rented accommodation. That is rats and mice, there are many other rodents and insects a property manager may encounter and the best way to handle these will be covered over the  next few weeks. Our friends at Owlspestcontrol have been kind enough to provided us with some great information on such problems and how to deal with them.

No 1 – Mus Domesticus and Rattus Norvegicus (AKA Mice and Rats) 

Mice/Rats breed quickly so these are some of the top guys you don’t want to see on your property. They are attracted to properties due to obvious reasons such as food/water as they are the ultimate scavengers.


 To deal with mice and rats you can take the following simple steps in your rental accommodation: 

  1. Remove the food!!, no bin bags left on the ground, lids off the bin etc
  2. Minimise harbourage opportunities,no junk around the property, trim hedgesregularly with specific attention to areas close to walls. 
  3. Proof the property against potential rodent access, a thorough inspection of the perimeter is needed!(Mice need a 6mm gap to enter your home!)
  4. Eliminate water sources! Rats are attracted to water taps,water pipes, drains etc 

A frequent sighting of rats or mice may not necessarily mean you have an infestation but simply didn’t take the four prevention steps detailed above. If you are worried there is an infestation you must be as detailed and specific as possible when calling pest control. Include details such as number of rodents exact location and how often you have seen the rodents. Thats it for today guys I hope this blog was useful and please share with others in the industry too, you can follow me at @rentview_ and please check out Owl  Pest Control.