Landlord Horror Stories


While children are excitedly preparing to dress up as scary mythical creatures ready for Halloween, many Landlords are faced with the far scarier reality of damaged property, rent arrears, disruptive tenants and all the other fears associated with managing their own property.

If you are currently experiencing any of the above issues, please read on. If you are not experiencing any of the above, you may as well read on because sooner or later you will most likely need to read this…

Damaged Property

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a lot of time ensuring that your rental property looks clean and presentable for your new tenant. Now, there’s nothing more annoying or upsetting than people not respecting your property or maintaining it to the standard that you gave it to them….am I right? Ok, so rent arrears are probably No.1 but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The last thing you want to do when a tenant moves out is have to deap clean; kitchen, bathroom, carpets…the lot. You also don’t want to have to be spending money re-decorating the whole place again. So, avoid the heart ache and arguments and ensure you do a thorough Inventory before the tenant moves in. Also, make sure you take a deposit (and secure it with a recognised deposit scheme). With these two things in place you can claim the cost from the deposit and use your inventory as proof.

DO NOT- Think “Oh they seem like good people; I don’t need an Inventory or Deposit”. Assume all people are Witches and Ghouls because things can turn ugly and scary VERY quickly!

This is advice from an experienced Landlord…take it, please!

Rent Arrears

This is probably the scariest thing about managing your own property and can quickly turn into a real life horror movie before you know it. If a Tenant doesn’t pay the rent, who pays your mortgage? You of course but it’s a serious financial struggle and, in some cases, an impossibility which leads to very serious financial problems.

ALWAYS- make sure you do full reference checks on your tenants. Be wary of certain situations e.g. someone who says “I’ve been living with parents”. This is sometimes code for “I’ve racked up thousands of pounds in rent arears with my previous landlord and he won’t give me a reference”….funny that!

Insist on rents being paid by standing order and keep on top of rent payments! The second they are a day or two late, get on the phone. If they don’t respond, email them. If they still don’t respond call their next of kin and say that you are concerned because you can’t get hold of your tenant. Etc etc etc

You also have to be incredibly careful with the notices you serve; some have to be served on a specific date, some you can serve at any time but they need to be in 2 months rent arrears, by which time you’re struggling to pay your own mortgage let alone two. And the horror continues.

Disruptive Tenants

Put your hands up if you’ve had one of these….oh come on, get your hand up, I know you’ve had at least one?!

Well these tenants are the equivalent to vampires; only awake at night time and are intent on causing disruption to the entire village!

There should be a clause in your Tenancy agreement regarding noise and nuisance to neighbours. Tenants must agree not to make unnecessary noise which could disturb neighbours.

If neighbours do come to you with a complaint about your noisey tenants, ask them to talk to them about it. If they do not feel comfortable about this you should discuss the issue with your tenant in a calm and reasonable manner.

What to do now?

Although I enjoy writing to you lovely readers and, lets be honest….you’ve enjoyed it, I am also a Lettings and Estate Agent in Nuneaton. Don’t sigh and switch off!

If you are looking for an easier life whereby you kick off your shoes after a long day at work and just sit in front of the fire with your family chilling out, give me a call. We can take care of absolutely everything for you from finding a suitable tenant to collecting the rent, managing the maintenance and even guaranteeing the rent.

No more horror stories for you. We’re more like a fairy tale; after you have a chat with us at QT Homes you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside *cheesy smiles*

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or worries about your current tenancy and I’d be happy to have a chat about it.

I look forward to hearing from you 02477674545

Always read the small print!

At a family Birthday party at the weekend, my brother-in-law pointed out the promotion on the pack of a popular crisp snack; “Collect 3 packs and get a free Bluetooth speaker***

Except the *** referred to a host of terms and conditions including the fact you need to pay £3 towards postage. Why not just say “Collect 3 packs and get a Bluetooth speaker for £3!?

And it reminded me of some letting agents’ promotions. 0% management fees to landlords, free management and free this and free that. All with the caveat that it’s only for a certain time frame or that other fees apply, making the saving completely redundant.

The simple answer as to why companies do this is it is attention-grabbing marketing, designed to get people to contact the promoter, who then has one foot in the door.

I feel there is a lack of transparency amongst some letting agents in regards to the fees they are charging (to both landlords and tenants), which was one of the reasons we started QT Homes Lettings in 2013.

Even though it is now a legal requirement for letting agents to publish all their fees to both landlords and tenants on their website and in their offices, many don’t comply and the authorities seem to do nothing about it. Price on application or fees negotiable by property type is not permissible and contracts should be free of hidden nasties tucked away in the small print.

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It was sad to hear recently from two sets of prospective tenants who were shocked to find their previous letting agent was withholding a reference unless they paid them a fee. I believe in the notion of charging a fair and transparent price for a great service and not trying to make a few extra quid in the short-term just because I could.

You can find a full list of our services and fees on our website – www.Qthomes.co.uk.

And that’s my business model – simple and transparent; take on nice properties (there’s lots of these around Nuneaton), choose good tenants (lots of them around Nuneaton too), keep my overheads low and my service levels high.

If you’re a landlord and wish to work with a letting agent who is passionate about providing a good service to everyone at a fair price, without the hidden complexities you sometimes find in the industry, please give me a call.