There is so much to manage when you’ve decided to become a landlord. It’s easy to forget certain jobs or to feel like tenants don’t appreciate your efforts. Since we published the statistics of the Big Tenants Survey 2014 we thought we would pull together a few bits of advice we have gathered from successful landlords.
So what’s popular at the moment? Do people want more bedrooms, bigger gardens, central location? If you can get your hands on a house with high demand, you’ll earn your money back in no time. Just make sure you plan everything out, can you access the property easily? Is there a lot of renovation to be done.
Ask yourself, what are the current rental prices in this area? Give other landlords a run for their money with competitive prices. An occupied house is better than an empty one.
Write down everything that may cost money, and round up just to be sure. You want your tenants to walk into this house and see it as their home. Do them a good deal and know you’ve worked hard to make it right.
There is no shame in not knowing EVERYTHING, every landlord stumbles upon new challenges. There are plenty of groups and organisations to help when things go wrong. Call on other landlords to see if they have any advice or join a group. The NLA offers support to landlords so that they understand their responsibilities and offer ways to save money. landlords.org.uk/
It’s also a good idea to build a good relationship with local businesses. Locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, gardeners. At one time or another you may need to call on any of these, and the bills can be a shock, try organising a deal if something should go wrong. Recommending their businesses for discounts could come in useful.
Like we’ve said, it’s not possible to keep everybody happy. So if you’ve had a tenant tell their friends and family not to rent from you, could make you look bad. There are courses which can allow you to become an accredited landlord, this helps people to understand if you have had any disputes there are probably reasons on your part as you are a trusted landlord. landlords.org.uk/events/product_course
We’ve all seen the television programmes with noisy neighbours and untrained pets. We can only imagine how much of a problem that could cause for one of our landlords. People can seem genuine face to face, however it’s easy to lie when you’re desperate, make sure you make full background checks on potential tenants. Ask them if they have any pets. If you don’t want to turn down a tenant because of pets, we suggest you make it clear in the contract that any damage caused by pets is their responsibility. Soiled carpets will need to be fully replaced before any new tenant moves in.
Not only that, speak to their last landlords and make sure they paid rent on time and haven’t caused any problems. You don’t want neighbours calling on you because you’re new tenants have a barking dog and play music all night. If things have already became too much have a look at gov.uk/private-renting-evictions.
It’s probably the best piece of advice we can give. Nobody wants to fall out with someone who has really tried to help. Try and show that you care, tenants aren’t just a source of income, they put a lot of trust in you as a landlord and you have to show that you will go out of your way to make them happy.
Communicate well and be there when they need help. Disagreements can be inevitable over rent or responsibilities, you must show that you are there to help them however will not be taken advantage of and not paid for the property.
Having a fixed term contract is the best way to ensure you will be paid your rent. This allows you to receive your rent with help from a court of law if tenants refuse to pay. It also helps you plan for the future if tenants don’t want to continue their contract when it ends.
UKinsuranceNET offers legal expenses and rent guarantee insurance policies to help landlords who have been refused rent payments. Contact us for more information and help:
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