Being organised and having respectful tenants are just a couple of key ingredients that will make your life easier as a landlord. Below, we share our top tips for making sure you, as well as your tenants, are satisfied.
1) Take a personal approach
When it comes to choosing tenants, your gut feeling is important. By showing your property to prospective tenants in person, you can see what they’re like for yourself. This will help you to establish a relationship with them early on, paving the way for better communication in the future. It will also give you the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about them, such as their reasons for moving and what they like about the neighbourhood.
2) Have respect both ways
Once you find your new tenants, make sure that you respect their privacy by not visiting the property without notice. Hopefully, as their landlord your tenants will show you equal respect. However, if they show signs of causing any trouble, keep copies of the letters and emails exchanged between you and them in case they are needed as evidence later on.
3) Welcome your tenants properly
It’s a good idea to prepare an information pack for your tenants before they move in. This should include a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) and any documents that are required by law, as well as essential instructions and information about the property and its contents.
4) Do your research
Before buying a property to rent, look into local listings to get a feel for the demand for renting properties in the area, the cost of renting and the size of popular rentals. It’s worth keeping an eye on the local market for any of your existing properties too so that you can keep up-to-date with fluctuations in the market. Regular research will help you stay on top of rental charge changes, the standard of properties in the area and what’s usually included.
5) Take steps to protect yourself
Performing a background check on your prospective tenants (even if your first impression of them was good) will help you determine key information, such as if they are likely to pay their rent on time.
When it comes to creating your tenancy agreement, include as many scenarios as possible to cover yourself in case you have to use it. For example, you could include the possibility of an increase in rent, damages caused by pets and a smoking policy. You should also perform an inventory to help you keep track of the condition of your property and furnishings. Be sure to take photos as they could be used for evidence in the event of a deposit dispute.
6) Keep your tenants happy
As well as stopping small problems turning into bigger ones, promptly repairing things, such as a leaking tap or broken heating system, will keep your tenants happy. Having tradespeople that you can trust to repair problems when they occur will also make your life a whole lot easier. Arranging regular visits or installing a maintenance programme at the property will ensure these defects are quickly rectified and remain minimal.
7) Remember that money matters
Take care of your tenants’ deposit by registering it with one of the Government-approved deposit schemes and remember that you have to send the tenant proof within 30 days of the date that they moved in. When it comes to the rent that your tenants pay, consider sending them reminders so that they don’t forget to pay it, whether that’s by email, text or by setting up a direct debit. Their rent is your income, and so it’s important that you receive it on time, especially if it goes towards paying a mortgage.
8) Stay up-to-date with changes
It’s vital that you keep on top of tax and legal changes and any new regulations and laws that are put in place. You must now ensure any tenant bonds paid are protected and if you are in Wales, that you are registered with Rent Smart Wales. Simply reading updates by the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and industry press will keep you well informed.
Most importantly, don’t forget insurance…
As a source of income, protecting your property should be a top priority. The most effective way of covering yourself in the event of an incident is to consider arranging adequate insurance cover, from physical property damage, subsidence, terrorism attacks, loss of rental income to legal matters.
Other protections can also be purchased such as a Landlord Home Emergency policy, that will cover you for things such as the cost of a contractor’s call-out fees, labour charges, parts and materials.
A Landlord’s Legal & Rent Guarantee policy will cover the cost of professional fees to appoint a claims handler, solicitor or accountant following a specific occurrence in respect of tenant removal. These professionals can give you the advice and assistance you need, while the policy will potentially also respond to loss in rent through the tenant’s non-payment. *
Get in touch with our Small Business team today to find the right cover for you. We have offices in Caerphilly, Newport, Swansea, Haverfordwest, Hereford and London. Contact us on 0800 115566 or at email@example.com to speak to your local broker.
*Policy terms and conditions apply