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Avoid Tenant's from Hell

Avoid Tenant’s from Hell

As thousands of people struggle to sell their properties in the current financial climate, many are turning to renting them out in order to move on with their lives. However this comes with its own problems and responsibilities that many people are not really prepared for.

Being a landlord means you have legal responsibilities towards the housing of others. In order to stay on the right side of the law, provide a place where people want to live and avoid tenants from hell, it is recommended that landlords should seek to use recognised and trusted professional services to help them operate their rental property business and educate themselves before it’s too late.

The most common concerns faced by new landlords regarding offering a new tenancy are:

  • Background of tenants
  • The rent / rent arrears
  • Property maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Legal compliance

Tenant Referencing

Every landlord wants to avoid the tenant from hell, someone who doesn’t respect where they live, the neighbours or the landlord and who doesn’t pay the rent. Tenant referencing can help landlords avoid bad tenants and professional referencing should include:

  • Credit Check
  • Employers / Accountants Reference
  • Landlords / Managing Agent’s Reference
  • Financial Review
  • Bankruptcy Search
  • Anti Fraud Check

Rent Guarantee

With the current financial unrest still being felt by many people, employment uncertainties and austerity measures still emerging, it can be a worry for landlords and their tenants about being able to pay the rent on time.

The rent can be guaranteed providing that the conditions of the rent guarantee insurance are met, usually meaning that the applying tenant must be credit checked and properly referenced prior to the start of the tenancy.

Property Maintenance

Landlords may need to provide repairs or conduct regular maintenance on their rental property in order to maintain their income producing asset. They may know a bloke from the pub that can do the job but it is recommended to use recognised tradesmen to do any work on the property. Repairs will be done to the correct standard and tradesmen should be professionally registered with their respective federations to ensure quality. Any repairs involving gas can only be conducted by a GasSafe registered engineer.

Insurance

Landlords need to ensure they have adequate insurance for the protection of their rental property, many mortgage providers demand proof of insurance. There are a multitude of different insurance products on the market but it is recommended that landlords protect the landlord’s contents within a property as well as the fabric of the building. This means fixtures and fittings such as the kitchen and bathroom suite are insured. Find out more here

Legal Compliance

Self managing landlords need to ensure they are compliant with over 70 separate pieces of government legislation and a raft of local authority regulations. There are a number of useful governement resouces that can be found on the web, however, it is recommended that landlords seek professional property management agents to ensure that all the correct legal requirements are met.

Timely repairs can increase buy to let rental yields

Timely repairs can increase buy to let rental yields

Reducing repair and maintenance costs for a Buy-To-Let landlord can make the difference between a property producing a healthy yield or being a lemon with a high void rate and a poor return.

With this in mind, property repairs and maintenance can be a crucial focal point for landlords when analysing the potential rental yields from any buy to let property.

Ensuring that all windows are energy efficient and watertight is just one area for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their rental property. It only takes a missing piece of silicone or a small hole in the grouting for water to seep in and pool under tiles or floor boards. If left, the minute leak can become an expensive disaster.

Landlords should always make sure that all areas exposed to the elements remain water tight whatever the weather before a tenant moves in as putting it right when tenanted can cause a great deal of time lost and damage to the professional relationship between landlord and tenant.

When a rental property becomes vacant at the end of a tenancy, landlords or their agents should ascertain the overall condition of the property and identify any potential work that may need doing to get it ready for re-habitation, and that work should be carried out by qualified and trusted tradesmen.

The overall condition of a private rental sector (PRS) property can often attract a similar quality of tenant. If the rental property is in need of a number of repairs or overall improvement and landlords fail to carry out the necessary works, more often than not, the type of tenant attracted will be of a lower standard and they may not be bothered with maintaining the upkeep of the property, causing further financial headaches for the landlord.

Improving the look and quality of a rental property can often be achieved through quick and inexpensive jobs being done such as repainting walls and gloss work and thorough deep cleaning of high use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Landlords should include clauses within the tenancy agreement (AST) to make the tenants responsible for some of the upkeep of the property and these points should be highlighted to new tenants when they are preparing to sign the AST.

Such things as regular cleaning and cutting the grass can be included and it should also be clearly indicated in the tenancy agreement that any changes to the property must be put in writing to the landlord or letting agent.

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