The relationship you have with your tenants ideally should be a good one, this will help to ensure that your properties are creating income for you. Tenants who are happy with their home and are living comfortably will be more inclined to stay on. Here is are my four ways of keeping our tenants happy from the outset.
PIMS – Court Deposit Legislation in Turmoil – Be warned !
- Choose 3 agents in the local area and visit them all in person
- Check their organisation skills – ask them to do three things. These can be quite small as posting terms & conditions, e-mailing you their contact details and confirming their tenancy deposit scheme. Check that they do this, if they don’t they haven’t noted your request or just haven’t done it – either way this displays poor organisation.
- Don’t take them at face value – many people can talk a good game but don’t deliver.
- They should be up to date with Lettings Legislation.
- Your Agent should have Client Money Protection Insurance for should their business fail you will be an unsecured creditor and liable for losses such as Tenants Deposits not lawfully being held / protected.
We have now released some student house shares commencing bank holiday weekend, to move into ASAP. All properties are of a very good standard. Please telephone for further information and to book a viewing.
One of the most frequent problems Landlords face is overly demanding tenants making requests for redecoration, double glazing or replacement of appliances.
Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain their rental property, the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act sets out the landlords responsibilities under section 11.
Within this Act landlords must: “Keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes), keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity). Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.”
Generally as you can see from the section 11 quote above the landlords responsibilities are to maintain the property not to improve it. Redecorating or granting other requests from tenants are completely at the discretion of the landlord. If the property is in good repair legally the landlord has met their obligations.
Normally broken appliances will be replaced by the tenant unless the damage is considered fair wear and tear. If the request is for the replacement of an appliance that could have broken due to normal usage or age, such as a dishwasher or washing machine it is advisable for the landlord to replace it.
If the request is for an upgrade, such as a new bathroom the landlord has no obligation or responsibility to agree. That said, it is always beneficial to try to maintain a good relationship with your tenants, so for every request you receive consider it carefully before responding. If the request is reasonable and will improve your property for the next tenancy you may wish to go ahead. If the change has been requested by the tenant and is significant, such as double glazing, reasonable tenants should expect their rental to increase slightly. Remember your tenant accepted the property as they viewed it, demands for upgrades are at your discretion.
Here are some ideas I have out together to help you maximise your property investment. Being a Landlord myself for the last 13 years, it now feels like quite a long road. When I first started property investment seemed like an easy vehicle to make money, this was of course due to the property market going up and up. The refurbishment and then the renting out of the property seemed easy compared to the market today. Students would accept the regulation corduroy blue carpets and basic amenities, and the professional market thought a dishwasher was a luxury! Now students also want a decent level of accommodation and the professional tenants want something a bit special! Whether we find ourselves as an accidental Landlord or we chose this route of investment, we need to avoid those voids and maximise our returns. Some pointers which make very good sense in our current market:
- When increasing the rent, ensure the tenants are given a feasible reason for this increase. For example you may include some utilities in your rent, and with fuel prices up, this would be a legitimate reason..
- Don’t increase the rent so much that it is not affordable, and make sure it is comparable to the immediate local market and of a similar standard.
- Visit your property every quarter, minimum. if you employ the services of letting agency, ensure that this is done and you are informed of any issues. A tenant may notice a leak but not report it until the flat downstairs reports a massive brown wet stain on their ceiling! Noticing issues early limits the big repair bills.
- Attract your target market. Make your property fit the needs of tenant. This will ensure tenants remain at the property longer and won’t feel the necessity to move on.You will have higher occupancy levels.
- Minimising void periods. Advertise the property to let ASAP, don’t delay! Make sure the rent is right, too much and you won’t get any interest. If you are made an offer weigh it up sensibly. Have they offered £5o -£100 less, but want to move in back to back with the last tenant, then Think about taking it, how much other interest is there? It is a false economy to hang out for the higher rent and miss a months rent you will never get this money back.
- Note feedback from prospective tenants who have viewed and tenants who have moved out. Why are they leaving? Is there something that they think would improve the accommodation? Listen to feed back it counts this is your audience.
- Make sure your tenants know what is expected of them. Draw a list of things which the landlord will not pay for I.E blocked pump on the washing machine (pockets not being emptied) blocked kitchen sink drain (from foodstuff).
- Before calling out the electrician etc. talk with the tenant on the phone, get as much info as possible. May be it is just a trip switch? Or something else the tenant can sort themselves. Teach tenants how to do re-light the pilot light for example. Or if you are handy perhaps you can do much of the basic maintenance yourself.
- Treat tenants well build a rapport. Just not too well that they ring you at 2am drunk when they have locked themselves out of the house!! Some want you as a surrogate mother!
Whatever the economic climate, we should always be looking at ways we can save money!
We have a large victorian semi which is currently undergoing refurbishment on Cromer Avenue in West Didsbury. The rooms are all large doubles and there are two bathrooms to share between the four bedrooms. This property is reserved and available for professional tenants only.
Available on Springdale Gardens is a beautiful family home a short walk from the shops and village centre. This property has 2 large reception rooms, 2 large doubles and one smaller double. The bathroom has a bath and shower over. These properties rarely come on the market. Particular with parking for up to 3 cars! Must be viewed, please ring for an appointment.
New to the market is a 3 double bedroomed professional house share. Five minute walk from Wilmslow Road. Furnished or unfurnished. This house must be viewed.
Stunning two bed town house with substantial garden and excellent entertaining space. This property is now back on the market. Would suit professional couple with young family, or two professionals sharing who would appreciate a large entertaining space. Must be seen. Now reduced for q quick let this week. Book into view!