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20 Top Tips to be a better landlord

20 Top Tips to be a better landlord

Surprisingly it’s often the small things that can make a big difference. Here are 20 top tips for being a better landlord, from the experts at Belvoir...

1. Clean sweep

Before the tenancy starts, a thorough cleaning of the property is essential. This sets the standard you expect when they leave.

2. Critical condition

The better the property looks, the better quality of tenant it will attract. Good presentation is crucial and lightly dressing a property really helps, for example with curtains, blinds and lightshades.

Adrian Mason, proprietor of Belvoir Luton  says: “The best presented properties get the best tenants. Ensure you present your property to its full potential – this should help secure a longer tenancy, good tenants and a good price. Your local letting specialist should be able to advise you.”

3. Key communication

Good communication is key. Regular communication between the landlord or agent and tenant will help any issues that arise during the tenancy to be dealt with proactively.

4. Essential information

Ensure your tenant is given all the essential paperwork when they move in. It is helpful to supply the tenant with a ring binder which includes all the necessary paperwork, such as the EPC, Gas safety certificate, tenancy agreement and copies of appliance manuals etc.

Proprietor of Belvoir Southend-on-Sea Wayne Mearns adds: “A set of guidelines would be useful to a new tenant. For example, where does the rubbish go and what day do the dustbin collections occur?”

5. Service skills

Don’t forget that tenants are essentially paying your mortgage for you, or giving you an income if you’re lucky enough not to have a mortgage, so treat them well and keep them in.

6. Be prepared

A good landlord should ensure they have thought of all eventualities and have plans in place should problems arise. Sometimes things can go wrong, so thinking ahead is likely to save money in the long run.

7. Dress to impress

Maximise the impact of first impressions at a viewing by addressing the finer details. Even items such as window dressings, curtain poles and door handles can indicate the level of wear and tear on a property. First impressions count for everything and improving or updating the look of your rental property will not only help attract a tenant more quickly, but could also help increase the rental value.

8. Tenancy trouble-shooting

If any problems occur, starting a dialogue early with your tenant can help prevent any issues escalating. Landlords should be firm but fair. They should foster good positive communication with their tenants, plus remember that accidents do happen and therefore not overreact when they occur.

9. Good timing

Timing of rental payments should be established before the tenant moves in. When will the payment leave the tenants account to show in the landlords account? This needs to be clear from the outset to avoid any misunderstandings.

10. Visiting rights

It’s important that the landlord visits the property regularly. At Belvoir Macclesfield we always visit every three months as a minimum. Always write to the tenant and give them as much notice as possible, plus phone the day before the visit to check they received the letter. This personal contact and chatting to the tenant helps maintain a good relationship.


11. In the bank

Be aware of hidden costs. Plus, ensure you are financially covered for unforeseen eventualities, such as a void period and/or maintenance.

12. Realistic returns

Landlords should recognise that rents go down as well as up and they should be realistic. Occupancy is key. Just because a property let for a certain figure last time, it doesn’t mean that it will next time. Always assess the market and ask a specialist agent.

13. Payment problems

If the rent is late, talk to your tenant as soon as possible. Don’t assume they are deliberately not paying. It could simply be a bank error and they will want to be told so this can be corrected.

14. Business plan

Being a landlord should be treated as a business, and it’s important that you don’t get too attached to the property. Landlords should view tenants as customers and treat them as such,” he says. “Also bear in mind that it costs less to retain good customers than it does to recruit new ones.

15. Market research

Before investing, know your market. Talk to your local letting specialist to determine your tenant requirements. Families have different expectations to young professionals, for example.

16. Rental review

To ensure your investment keeps pace with market values make sure your rent is reviewed at least annually. If you decide not to increase it in order to reward/keep a good tenant, then it’s important that you let them know. This will build goodwill and loyalty and may encourage your tenant to stay longer and take extra care of the property.

17. Important insurance

Take out Rent and Legal Insurance. In this current climate circumstances can change and insurance is there as a precautionary measure. The cost of the policy is likely to be far lower than the estimated costs if the tenant falls into arrears.

18. Long-term relationships

Don’t take long-term tenants for granted. When you visit, consider if furnishings/decor need updating. Are these things which would be done if the tenants moved out? If so, you may retain that tenant for much longer by doing them now.

19. Maintenance matters

Landlords should be mindful of their legal obligation to repair and to act quickly when something needs fixing. Respond quickly to any maintenance issues and keep the tenant informed if there are any delays in getting work done – tenants are more likely to stay longer and treat the property well if the landlord looks after them in this way.

20. Agent help

“Put your ‘trust’ in a good agent, such as Belvoir,” advises Major Mahil of Belvoir Birmingham Central. “Delegate the authority and let them get on with doing their professional work.”

Proprietor of Belvoir Kettering Harpreet Garcha agrees, concluding, “An agent’s help can be invaluable in finding a tenant, managing the tenancy and retaining the tenant. Ensure you use a regulated agent who has a proper re-dress scheme and protects deposits.”

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Latest Comments

SecomTech
SecomTech 22 Jun 2017

AT Last...This was discussed years ago and there was a move towards landlords registering their bad tenants on a database..(can't remember where) It seems a logical step though our leaders will probably...

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Bertrand
Bertrand 02 Jun 2017

How about the Welsh Govt introducing a scheme to protect landlords against "rogue" tenants who are then taken to court for criminal damage to the properties they trash. Pretty unlikely I suspect and politically...

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AmberMorris
AmberMorris 25 May 2017

"Please don't pick a novelty tune-playing doorbell. They're not 'fun'. They're stupid." Laughed a lot to this. It's actually true, though.

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Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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