The role of a landlord can be a full time job, with 81% of British landlords juggling a second job to make ends meet.
Jake Willis, Co-founder of London Shared, believes that many property owners do not realise the amount of money, time and care required to be a landlord and as a result they feel constantly under a huge amount of pressure.
For those who are looking for a more hands-off approach, we recommend using property managers who can become the day to day point of contact for your tenants, and in turn alleviate some of that stress and responsibility placed on landlords.”
Here are five top tips for property and tenancy management by co-founder of London Shared, Jake Willis:
1. Check the law
There is a myriad of potential pitfalls that you can fall into when renting a property. As a bare minimum you need to have a valid gas safety certificate in place, smoke alarms on every level and a carbon monoxide alarm by the boiler and kitchen (if you have gas appliances). It is advisable that you check the legislation surrounding letting as there may be additional requirements depending on the type of property you have.
2. Use correct contracts
When letting a property you not only have to use a robust agreement but also follow the rules and regulations associated with them. As an example, with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement you need to always register the deposit within 30 days, and you need to give Tenants prescribed information regarding their deposit. You also need to give certain notices when terminating an agreement. If you are unsure what the process is, we suggest you speak to a professional (solicitor, estate agent or a property management company like London Shared) about exactly what is needed.
3. Vet your tenants properly
Evicting a non-rent paying tenant can cost you thousands of pounds and a lot of stress. Regardless of the checks you undertake, you can never know for certain that you have chosen the right tenant but you should at least check them as much as you can to minimise your risk. We would recommend using an independent company to carry out a reference check for you because you can then obtain rental guarantee insurance against the tenant.
4. Have a contingency plan
Failing to leave yourself with some emergency funds to cover vacancy is a huge error that unfortunately a lot of landlords can make. You should always have money aside to cover the mortgage in case finding tenants becomes difficult.
5. Fix things properly the first time
It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you skimp on certain things you will save money however, ultimately this can come back to haunt you. Rather than trying to deal with an issue on the cheap (which can then mean you have to do it more than once) it is always better to pay slightly more to make sure an issue is properly sorted the first time. Always use licensed, reputable contractors so that you can have confidence in their work and remedy if things go wrong.