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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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brandonlee10
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

The financial ramifications of the triggering of Article 50, the starting gun for Britain's departure from the EU, are far from clear. Buyers will be most cautious in London, given that buying a home in...

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

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cornishalan
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

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Jo Mullett
Jo Mullett 07 Jul 2017

Here in Swansea, known as the Japanese knotweed capital of the UK, it never fails to amazes me that people have no idea of the potential problems this invasive non-native plant can cause when buying or...

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NathanG
NathanG 05 Jul 2017

McDonalds, for example, have been purchasing their real estate on prime locations for years. If something happens to the company they'll have invaluable assets that will be able to save them. We might

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Jonah
Jonah 04 Jul 2017

Graham: surprised to see you cite the "extra tax liability" as capping out at ?560. It doesn't - the extra tax is exponential, as it is levied on the income (i.e the inflating level of rental income you...

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Dianne Griffen
Dianne Griffen 29 Jun 2017

Be very wary of anyone bringing you deals that they have ?found? and want to ?sell on to you? or ?joint venture? with you on ? you need a proper legal contract for this, involve a RICs surveyor to confirm...

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jason hadzikostas
jason hadzikostas 28 Jun 2017

The most important thing is a budget. Students have to manage their spendings in food, house maintenance, books and many other things. According to me, student Studios are the perfect option for them as...

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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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