Choose your tenants carefully.
Good tenants can make all the difference to the smooth running of your business, and conversely there is almost nothing worse than tenants who don’t look after your property, pay late, or constantly hassle you for things they need. Something landlords don’t often consider is the group dynamic; certain groups are more stable and responsible together whereas others may often end in tenants falling out with each other, or other disruptive behaviour.
Check your gas appliances.
All gas appliances need to be inspected annually by an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register. Electricity must be checked at least every five years. For example, Hassle Free Boilers will do an annual check on your boiler with a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide you with all the appropriate documentation. Go here to find out more about boilers for landlords.
Make sure you have a proper tenancy agreement.
A good tenancy agreement will set out all the obligations of the tenant whilst protecting you as a landlord. You also need to make sure all the tenants sign it, not just a one or two of them. Some older style tenancy agreements may not comply with current legislation so make sure your agreement is up-to-date. A fairly common problem for landlords is that the tenants will invite an extra member into the property and then share rent between the additional member by allowing them to sleep in the spare or living room. Make sure it’s clear that only the given number of tenants are allowed.
Take deposits wisely.
Deposits must be protected (for ASTs) under the government approved tenancy deposit scheme. Preparing a proper inventory is essential, and you must go through this with the tenants before they are and when they leave. Without this, chances of success in a deposit dispute are reduced.
Be proactive if rent falls into arrears.
You have two months after rent falls into arrears to serve a section 8 notice and consider bringing proceedings for possession. By the time a possession order is obtained 4 months could have passed without any rent so it pays to make as sure as possible that your tenants are trustworthy and have a stable income.
Make sure your property is in good repair.
Although in the short term it’s easier to hold back on making repairs and keeping everything up-to-date in the property in the long term it can turn into a bigger hassle. If something is always breaking down then it might be time to replace it.
Know your market.
Knowing which kind of tenants you expect to have will make a difference to what furnishings you choose, the rent you set, and where you market your property. In some towns what would normally be considered a student accommodation can be ‘re-branded’ and re done as a family home where you might be able to get a better price, access to a larger market, or better tenants. Carrying out research into markets that are potentially un-met can allow you to instantly get more rent for your property.
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