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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

Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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