Ten Top Landlord Tips

November 19, 2012

Landlord

As the private-rented sector is constantly evolving, even experienced landlords need to stay on their toes. With that in mind, here’s 10 tips for new and experienced landlords alike:

• Become a member of a professional regional association such as EMPO. Membership to EMPO provides you with a competitive edge and demonstrates your commitment to your landlord obligations. Through professional membership, you are demonstrating that you understand the rules and regulations relating to the letting of private-residential property.

• When recruiting new tenants, be sure to provide the correct documentation including a proper Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement outlining the length of the tenancy, the amount of rent, when it is to be paid, any deposit details, and the obligations of both parties.

• Be sure to protect all deposits taken. As a landlord you are legally required to protect tenants’ deposit with a government-authorized scheme and inform the tenant about it.

• Provide your tenants with an accurate and up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property. This will contain details of the property’s energy efficiency rating and allow tenants to budget for their energy bills.

• Ensure before you enter into any tenancy agreement that you have conducted all the proper reference checks on your tenants. We strongly recommend as a landlord you employ the services of a tenancy reference company. Yes it will cost money but will save you a small fortune if you end up with rogue tenants.

• Always ensure you ask your tenants for a family member’s contact telephone number and address in the event of an accident. Really this is all about being able to contact someone if your tenant absconds.

• Always ensure you receive regular alerts about changes in local authority regulations affecting the private rental sector. Joining a regional association such as EMPO will always ensure you are up to date.

• To avoid disputes at the end of the tenancy, a detailed inventory is essential. Create an official inventory detailing the condition of the items included in the letting and ensure all parties sign and date the document. Photos of the items detailed in the inventory are often useful too.

• Provide a gas safety record to show that all gas appliances have been checked within the past 12 months. Landlords are required to have a gas safety check carried out annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

• During the tenancy, be sure to provide great customer service to your tenants and ensure you are open and approachable so that tenants are able to report repair requirements or rent problems. Why not provide a nice bottle of wine to your tenant to enjoy at the start of the tenancy. This has always worked really well for me and starts the landlord/tenant relationship off to a great start.

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