This is not the first time this has happened. You’re sitting at home one evening, having a nice time with your family. Suddenly you get a text. It’s your tenant, he’s locked himself out. This is the nightmare many landlords sit with everyday.
If you’re a current or prospective landlord, the whole process can seem like a nightmare at times. From late payments to disputes over repairs, there are many problems to avoid. We’ve compiled this list of tips on tenants for landlords in the UK and more specifically, Newport, to help you navigate the troubling seas of renting out your property.
1. Know the law.
○If something goes wrong, you as landlord will ultimately be held responsible.
Even if you decide to use a letting agent, the responsibility still lies with you. So make sure you have a basic understanding of the relevant law and legal requirements applicable to landlords
2. Assess Your Tenants
○You need to run a credit check on your current tenant, get references from their current employer and most importantly, get a reference from their previous landlord. We always ask them how they treated the property, if they paid their rent on time and also why they’re leaving. If there’s anything suspicious, find someone else.
3. Interview your Tenants
○Set up a meeting with your prospective tenants and ask them all the questions you might have. Here you can be as frank as you want, you’re letting strangers live in your investment.
○Basic questions such as where they work, what hours they work and how long they intend to stay are completely accepted but feel free to ask more personal questions as well. This includes why they like your property and how they spend their free time. Even if they think it’s too personal, the tenant that really wants your property won’t mind you asking.
4. Ask the tenants for a guarantor
○This will protect you from any rent arrears problems that may pop up during their term of tenancy. We’ve found that someone like a homeowner or someone in stable employment are examples of good guarantors. You need to run a credit check on the guarantor as well.
5. Set Up a Tenancy Agreement
○This needs to include all the responsibilities of the tenant and also protects you as a landlord. The tenants need to sign this before they go in. Luscombe & Co uses a DocuSign system that’s quick and efficient.
○Make sure the agreement complies with current legislation.
6. Build a Good Relationship With Your Tenants
○Your duty as a landlord isn’t merely complying with legislation. If you want tenants to stay longer and minimise your risk of an empty property, it’s important to have a great relationship with your tenants. This means staying in regular contact with them and responding with their needs, even if it’s the middle of the night.
7. Don’t Enter Your Property Without Permission
○Even though you are the rightful owner, don’t assume you can walk in whenever you want. Legally, you have to give 24 hours’ written notice before you intend to visit your property to conduct an inspection.
○If you want to carry out repairs, you have to give plenty of warning as well, unless it’s an emergency.
8. Protect the Deposit
○ The moment you accept a deposit, it must be registered with a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) within 30 days.
9. Handle Rent Arrears
○ Rent arrears should be managed at all times, if the tenant fails to pay their rent on the agreed date, they need to be contacted to find out why and if possible, work with your tenant to make sure that they do not fall further into arrears. On the occasions when the rent cannot be paid and reaches 2 months in arrears, we would advise that a Section 8 notice be issued as per guidelines using the correct grounds for possession or a section 21 notice if appropriate.
10. Treat Your Properties as a Profession
○ Taking all of the above into consideration, can you really afford to treat it otherwise?
Luckily, if you have Luscombe & Co managing your property in Newport, you don’t have to worry about any of the requirements above. Our rockstar team handles the whole letting process for you and takes all the responsibility so that you can just reap the rewards of your investment and focus on the important things in life.
Also watch this video with the pros and cons of managing your property yourself: http://184.108.40.206/how-would-you-manage-your-investment-property/