Ten Top Tips for Being the Best Possible Landlord

11th June, 2016

Investing in a buy to let property isn’t as simple as sitting back and watching the money roll in.

It’ll require a lot of your own time and effort, as well as a bit of money to keep everything running smoothly, but the benefits can be great.

Be Easy To contact

While you may want to just leave your tenants to get on with things, it’s important that you’re on handy should any issues arise, or else they may get fed
up and look elsewhere.

Make sure you introduce yourself when handing over the keys and quickly show them around, show them if the door lock has a ‘knack’ to it and that kind of
thing.

After this, make sure that all the tenants have your mobile number, and also an email address.

Email is often a preferable method of communication as it avoids your phone ringing at all hours and it means that all your correspondence is on record in
written form.

But Don’t Overdo It

There’s nothing worse than a nosy landlord who is round every other week. Even though you have the right to enter the property whenever you like (with 24
hours’ notice), it’s best to keep your distance from your tenants if they don’t need you.

Fix Problems As Soon As They Arise

Apparently, 72% of landlords fully manage their properties themselves
instead of through an agency, and if this applies to you, it means you have to sort out any maintenance repairs yourself (or hire out someone else to do
it).

One of the most frustrating things as a tenant is sitting around and waiting for the landlord to come and fix the leaky shower or broken oven, so make up a
list of plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen who you trust and know will be able to get the job done ASAP.

Take An Inventory

Before your tenants move in, make sure to take a detailed inventory of the property. This can be a very time-consuming task, but it’s certainly worth
doing.

This should cover all of the contents of the property and what state they were in at the start of the tenancy, even if there are only cosmetic problems.

The more thorough you are the better, and it’s a good idea to take photographic evidence.

Also, remember to take meter readings before the tenants move in.

Be Fair In The Tenancy Agreement

Your tenancy agreement (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) needs to lay down what you expect of the tenant and what they can expect from you in return.

There are templates available at gov.uk which can
help you draft out a fair tenancy agreement.

Don’t Be Stingy

While it may seem like an unnecessary expense to re-paint the walls, or upgrade the oven for the new tenants, it can pay off in the long run, as nobody
wants to live in a bland, run down property.

Having said this, don’t be soft on the tenants and throw money at the property when you don’t need to.

Most upgrades are going to be necessary at some point down the line, so spending a little money on something before it breaks might wind up being cheaper
further down the line.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the fact that at some point down the line you’re going to need to attract new tenants to the property.

Be Fair With The Rent

Once everything’s running smoothly, it could be tempting to bump the rent up a little bit, but believe it or not, your tenants won’t be happy about this
unless there’s a very good reason.

If you persevere, it could lead to the tenants moving out, and while you might wind up finding new ones who are willing to pay the higher rent, it can be a
costly process arranging things such as the viewings and credit checks.

Your new tenants may also be a nightmare compared the old ones, so it’s often worth just keeping things simple and sticking to the agreed rent!

Remember Health and Safety

It’s not just common sense, you also have to abide by health and safety regulations by law.

This means making sure that all of your gas and electrical appliances are installed and checked every year by registered professionals.

Fire alarms are also a must, so always make sure that they’re not just installed, but that they’ve got enough batteries.

Join A Landlord’s Scheme

This isn’t a legal requirement, but it could be a good idea to sign up to an accreditation scheme.

It shows your tenants that you’re committed and care about being a good landlord.

The National Landlords Association and Residential Landlords Association
are the two main ones and both have plenty of documents are resources designed to help landlords and generally raise standards in the buy to let sector.

Be Flexible On Pets

Some tenants are understandably reluctant to allow their tenants to bring pets into the property, for fear of damage.

But having a strict ‘no pets’ policy could see you miss out on a lot of prospective tenants.

It’s best to take a flexible stance and judge each case on its merits. You could also explore options such as requesting a higher deposit for pet owners.

Your tenancy agreement should be very clear on your stance on pets so that there is no confusion.

Being a landlord is a great way to make a bit of extra money, as long as you’re willing to follow these tips and basically just give your tenants and your
property a bit of time and care.

If you are looking for a tenant, why not place an advert with us here at RoomBuddies?