How to be a good landlord

How to be a good landlord

3rd May, 2016

Do you own a house that you rent out, or are you planning to purchase a buy-to-let property? Then it’s worth taking the time, spending the money and making the effort to become a good landlord. This way, you’ll attract and retain great tenants. 

Sign up to Deposit Protection

It is a legal requirement for Assured Shorthold Tenancy deposits to be protected by a government-backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme, this protects both you and your tenants. In England there are three authorised providers of such a scheme, visit the UK government website for more information. When you sign up to a TDP scheme, you must supply your tenants with the relevant information, including which of the authorised schemes you are using, how to reclaim their deposit when the tenancy ends, what the deposit is for and what to do in the event of a dispute. Failure to comply or a delay in depositing the tenant’s bond can lead to legal proceedings and a hefty fine. 

Safety first

As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to ensure your property meets safety standards. Fit fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms throughout. Check them regularly and replace batteries as necessary. Keep records of the checks you have carried out so you can prove you have taken the appropriate precautions to make your property is safe. Gas and electrical equipment must be installed and checked by a registered engineer on an annual basis. It’s vital that you comply with the regulations, if not you could be putting your tenants at risk and your landlord insurance could be invalidated.

Make an inventory

An inventory details the contents of the property and the condition they are in on the day the tenant arrives. It should also list existing cosmetic issues, such as flaking paint or marks on any surfaces. You can refer to the inventory to resolve any disagreements over damage done during the tenancy. Take meter readings on move-in day, so that you, your tenant and the energy provider have an accurate record. Photographing the meters at this point is a good idea too.

Write a fair tenancy agreement

Create clarity on where the responsibilities lie for the upkeep of the property. Put this in writing in your tenancy agreement, known as the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). A letting agent or solicitor can help you draw up a tenancy agreement.

Furnish the place 

Bear in mind that you can command a higher rental price for a furnished property. To appeal to tenants you’ll need to make sure the furniture you provide is clean, fit for purpose and meets Furniture and Furnishing Regulations. Listen to your tenants requests and wherever possible and reasonable, meet them. If you refuse to repaint or upgrade essential appliances for a great tenant you risk losing them and will have to have the work done when they leave anyway to let your property again, so it can be a false economy. 

Fix it fast

You’ll impress your tenants by dealing with any problems they have quickly. Build a shortlist of reliable tradesmen who can deliver a decent service at short notice. If you’re going through a letting agent, choose one you can trust to respond to tenants issues in a speedy and effective fashion.

Take a step back

Once your tenants have moved in, leave them to it. You will make yourself unpopular with your tenants if you pester them. Accidental damage and general wear-and-tear are unavoidable and tenants will sometimes complain, these are hazards of the job. Give your tenants the space to feel at home in your property. If you have concerns, you can enter the property as their landlord, as long as you give at least 24 hours notice. 

Get an agent

Procuring the services of a managing agent will help to minimise the stress of letting your property. This can be especially helpful if you are moving out of the area or, indeed, already live elsewhere. Even if you decide to manage the property yourself, why not work with Applegate Properties to find your tenants? We can help to make the process smoother and our rigorous checks ensure that we place tenants who are respectful and will maintain the high standards of your property. we are a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), an official body that ensures your money is safeguarded and has a strict code of conduct that we adhere to. We offer various tailored packages to suit individual landlord's needs and requirements. Contact us or pop into our Holmfirth office to find out more.


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