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…
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.
When a tenant moves out is you as the landlord should deep clean; kitchen, bathroom, carpets…the lot. It also can be important to also carry out some mold testing and even test the electrics of the house to make sure it is all working properly. You ideally don’t want to have to be spending money redecorating the whole place again. So, avoid the heartache and arguments and ensure you do a thorough Inventory before the tenant moves in. Also, make sure you secure 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!
Another aspect of damaged property is one that not many people think about — if your previous tenants have been ignoring a leak or haven’t told you about certain issues then this damage can get worse over time. In the past, we’ve seen tenants not tell their landlords about a leak in their attic and when they moved out a year later, the leak had caused such a big issue that the roof needed to be replaced. On top of that, the weather can damage your property and cause costly repairs. If you get to the point where there are so many issues with the property that you just don’t want to deal with, go to a home buyer like Ben Buys Indy Houses to take the work off your hands. Sometimes, the ROI of repairs just isn’t worth it.
This is somewhat continuing on from the last point, but there is potentially nothing more worrying for a landlord than a forgetful tenant who loses keys and forgets to close the windows. This possibly causes stress for both tenant and landlord and may even invite burglaries, which adds to any current difficulties, but depending on the type of contract agreed upon between both parties, may lead to extra costs in damage repairs for the landlord.
A possible solution could be found for this tricky scenario. In regard to the keys and leaving doors unlocked, as a landlord you may want to consider investing in something similar to a smart lock. These smart locks don’t just need a key, and can mainly be opened using a recognised smartphone or a thumb/fingerprint in some cases. This might be beneficial as even a forgetful person will possibly need their phone to be on them regularly and therefore hopefully should have a harder time misplacing the means to enter the property. You could find a recommendation, if this option was of interest to you through reading about systems similar to L700 LightAccess Pro, a digital key used to open encrypted light signals, or you could speak to a security company to hear their own recommendation if that was more withing your preference. With regard to windows open this one is harder, but potentially having widows that can only open to a certain extent might be a useful solution as this could minimize the ability of a potential burglar to use the window as an access point.
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? Of course but it’s a serious financial struggle and, in some cases, an impossibility that 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.
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