Top Tips For Landlords
There are many advantages to being a landlord in the UK. For one, you’ll be able to provide quality housing for those who need it. Additionally, being a landlord can be quite profitable – especially if you own multiple properties. Also, as a landlord, you’ll be able to help shape your local community by providing safe and affordable housing. Finally, being a landlord can be quite personally rewarding, as you’ll be making a difference in people’s lives.
However, to be a successful landlord, there are many things you will need to do to protect your interests and serve your tenants well. To help, read our top tips for landlords’ article below.
Screen your tenants thoroughly
One of the most crucial tips for being a landlord is to screen your tenants thoroughly before allowing them to move into your property. First and foremost, always check that the potential tenant has a good rental history. Ask for references from previous landlords and make sure to follow up on them.
Secondly, always perform a credit check on the potential tenant. This will give you an idea of their financial stability and whether or not they are likely to pay their rent on time. Thirdly, make sure that the potential tenant has enough income to cover the rent by requiring proof of employment or income.
Have a strong lease agreement
Successful landlords always have a strong lease agreement in place. This will protect your interests and ensure that your tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities. A good lease agreement should outline the terms of the tenancy, including the length of the tenancy, the rent amount, and any other fees or charges. It should also contain a clause that allows you to terminate the tenancy early if necessary.
However, it is important to bear in mind that within the United Kingdom, changes to the law on landlords evicting tenants early have now come into effect. These changes are designed to protect tenants from being unfairly evicted by their landlords. Under the new rules, landlords must give tenants at least eight weeks’ notice before they can begin eviction proceedings. This notice period can be extended to twelve weeks if the tenant has a disability or is pregnant. In addition, landlords must now justify why they are evicting a tenant. This justification must be reasonable and based on one of the following grounds:
- The tenant has not paid rent.
- The tenant has caused damage to the property.
- The tenant has behaved in a disruptive or anti-social manner.
- The landlord needs to sell the property.
If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant without justification, the tenant can challenge the eviction in court. These changes to the law are designed to protect tenants from unfair evictions and to ensure that they are given adequate notice before being asked to leave their homes.
Be clear about your expectations
One of the most vital tips for new landlords is to be clear about your expectations from the very beginning. This means setting out rules and regulations in the tenancy agreement and making sure that your tenants are aware of them.
It is also important to be reasonable in your expectations, and to remember that tenants are people too – so try to be understanding if there are occasional issues.
Good record keeping
Another critical house renting tip for landlords is to keep good records. This includes keeping track of rent payments, maintenance requests, and other important information. It also includes making sure you keep accurate tax records and understand the tax law governing income from rental properties. Access some helpful tax tips for landlords here.
Good record keeping will help you stay organised and on top of your responsibilities. It will also come in handy if there are ever any disputes between you and your tenants.
Make Regular Visits to Your Property for Inspections
Regular inspections of your property are vital, as they encourage your tenants to take the best care of your investment. Regular inspections also allow you to deal with any small issues like leaks, cracks in the brickwork or wear and tear of the decorative aspects of your property before they snowball into serious problems. Lastly, by making regular inspections you can glean a sense of the type of person your tenants are, which can further help you to better protect your investment.
Stay up to date on the law
Good landlords also need to stay up to date on the law around leasing their property. This includes keeping up with changes in fair housing laws, landlord-tenant laws, and other relevant laws. Staying up to date on the law will ensure tenants are treated fairly and protect the landlord from encountering legal problems down the line.
For example, recently, there have been important changes to the law affecting landlords in the UK. First, the government introduced a new mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupations (HMOs). This means that any landlord renting out an HMO must now obtain a license from their local authority.
Secondly, the government has also introduced new legislation making it easier for tenants to sue their landlords if they are found to be in breach of their tenancy agreement. These changes are designed to protect tenants and make sure they are treated fairly by their landlords.
Be professional at all times
Successful landlords also need to be professional at all times when dealing with tenants. This means being polite, responsive, and organised. It also means following through on your commitments and meeting your obligations as a landlord.
It is by being professional, that trust and respect with tenants. This will make for a better relationship and a more enjoyable rental experience for everyone involved, and ensure that your investment is well protected.
Handle maintenance issues promptly
When it comes to property management tips for landlords, handling maintenance issues promptly should always be a priority. This means addressing the problem as soon as possible and keeping your tenants informed of the status of the repairs. By handling maintenance issues promptly, you can avoid tenant complaints and keep your rental property in good condition.
There are a variety of home maintenance issues that landlords need to deal with. These include things like leaks, broken appliances, and pests. Dealing with these issues promptly is important to keeping your tenants happy as well as protecting your property’s value over the long term.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Landlords also need to be prepared for the unexpected. This includes being prepared for natural disasters, fires, flooding, and other emergencies. It also means having a plan in place for how to handle these situations if they occur.
For example, if your property is in an area in danger of flooding, there are several things you can do to prepare:
- Make sure that your property is adequately insured. This will cover any damage caused by floods.
- Keep an inventory of your belongings and possessions in case the property needs to evacuate in a hurry.
- Prepare an emergency kit including essential items like food, water, and first aid supplies.
- Know the evacuation route from your property in case of flooding.
- Keep sandbags on hand to help block floodwaters from entering your property.
Indeed, as a landlord, being prepared for the unexpected is your responsibility. It will also help you protect your tenants and keep your property in the best condition over the long term, which will, in turn, ensure the best return on your investment.