Kurtis Property’s top tips to help you to keep your relationship with your tenant on track.
Being a landlord can feel like a minefield. From disputes over repairs to late rental payments, there are a host of potential problems to avoid
Do the right tenant checks
Before you sign a contract with tenants, it’s important to do some checks. By law, you have to make sure that people have the right to rent property - and this applies to all tenants aged 18 and above, even if they’re not named on the tenancy agreement. Although it’s not legally required, it’s also a good idea to use a tenant referencing service to check that people really are who they say they are. These checks can confirm details such as people’s employment statuses and they can also uncover facts that prospective tenants may not disclose, such as previous names and addresses and any problems they’ve had paying their rent in the past.
Make sure you meet your safety responsibilities
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your properties safe and free of health hazards. This means ensuring gas equipment is properly installed and maintained, keeping electrical systems safe, providing smoke alarms on each storey and fitting carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms that contain solid fuel-burning appliances.
Be prompt with any repairs
Make sure you’re clear on what you have a duty to repair as a landlord, and if your tenants contact you asking for something to be fixed, take action as soon as you can. Delaying repairs could put a strain on your relationship with your tenants and it may even land you in legal trouble.
Try to build a rapport with your tenants
Fulfilling your responsibilities as a landlord isn’t just about ticking boxes and making sure you stick to the letter of the law. If you want to keep your tenants for long periods to minimise turnover and reduce the risk of your property being empty, it’s important to try to establish a rapport with the people living in your premises. This can be as simple as staying in regular contact with them and being responsive to their concerns.
Don’t enter the property without permission
Never assume that just because you own a property, you have the right to walk into it whenever you want. Misunderstandings over the right to enter and inspect properties is one of the main causes of disputes between landlords and tenants. Bear in mind that legally, you have to give 24 hours’ notice before you visit your property to conduct an inspection. You should also give plenty of warning if you want to carry out repairs, unless you have to gain access in an emergency.
In general, the more notice you can give before you visit your property, the better. This will ensure your tenants have time to prepare and it’ll help to avoid unnecessary tensions.
Protect your finances with suitable insurance
To help you protect your finances, it’s important to have suitable insurance in place. Note that landlord insurance policies differ from regular home cover and can protect you against a whole range of risks. As well as including buildings and contents protection, they can cover you for emergency repairs, the non-payment of rent and damage caused by tenants. The policies can also cover legal expenses and the cost of providing emergency overnight accommodation for tenants.