13th January 2018
Q: I am a first time landlord, could you share some tips please?
A: Renting out a property to good tenants who pay their rent on time, never cause a fuss and don’t end up damaging the property, makes the world of property investing a happy place for landlords.
Most disputes between landlords and tenants are about the state of the property at the end of the tenancy. Before renting out a property, be sure to have it cleaned to a professional standard, take loads of photos and if you can, have an independent inventory clerk carry out the inventory. Make sure all utility companies are informed of the start and end dates of your tenancies. Even though the tenant can change suppliers without your explicit permission, it pays to keep them up to date with meter readings and helps prevent any future headaches and unpaid bills. Ensure you have got your Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate, and checked the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
Once the property is ready, and you have all the legally required documents at hand, you are ready to rent out your property. Once you have found your tenant, do ensure you carry out references, draft up the tenancy agreement, get it signed, collect the first month’s rent and secure the deposit. It is in your best interest to keep your tenants happy. If the tenant is unhappy, it is likely they’ll want to move and no landlord looks forward to having to find a new tenant every 6 to 12 months. If you find that your tenants aren’t renewing, it may be time to take a step back and work out what it is that’s not making them stay. There are more costs associated with having to get new tenants in, compared to renewing, so to ensure your ‘nice’ tenants stick around, it may be worth doing a few simple things to ensure you maximise your rental year – year after year.
Good landlords often breed good tenants, and regular open communication is key. Although I am not encouraging 24/7 phone calls, it is worth checking in with tenants via email or a text to show you care. I recommend regular property checks to see how your property is looking. A landlord who cares about the property (and its upkeep) demonstrates to tenants that you’re a keeper! If it is a 6 month let, do an inspection 3 months in and then every 6 months; but, remember to give 24 hours written notice.
There are always reasons for moving on that are out of your control, but a few simple adjustments in your own personal service, which should start from the moment a tenant is shown around, can make the world of difference in keeping good tenants happy. With renting being the more affordable option for so many people nowadays, there’s greater competition out there in the market place. Staying a step ahead of your landlord competitors makes good business sense when renting out a property.
If all of this seems a little too much effort for you, then get in touch to see how we can help.