This week we thought we would share our 5 top tips for landlords
- Be organised
Before you even begin to market your property you need to ensure that it is ready
– Make sure that it looks presentable for photographs and then viewings
Ensure that the fabric of the property is presentable by touching up the paintwork if necessary, getting rid of excess furniture and other fussy objects, and of course making sure that it is clean and tidy
– Get your EPC completed (Energy Performance Certificate), and check that the property is in an A-E bracket*
– Choose a letting agent, or decide whether you can take on this task yourself
A letting agent can help with marketing your property on larger platforms, and by using their sales skills. If you choose to do this yourself remember that you will have to be readily available in order to conduct viewings, and the close landlord/subsequent tenant proximity may not be conducive to negotiations over the start date and rental figure
- Always prepare the property for a tenant
Go through the property again before a tenant moves in and check things like;
– Bulbs are working, hinges and door handles are secure etc
– Check that all of the appliances (and boiler!) work
Get your safety checks done in advance in case of any issues requiring rectification
– The gas safety check is a legal requirement, as is making sure that there are working smoke detectors present. It is also likely that soon electrical tests will be a legal requirement, but at present they are only advisory
Leave a welcome letter and/or bottle of wine
-if a tenant feels welcomed then they are more likely to keep your property well
- A good letting agent isn’t necessarily a good management agent
Will you manage it yourself or get an agent to do it?
Be aware that whilst an agent may be good at finding you a tenant, the chances are that the same member of staff won’t be your managing agent if you give them the whole package, they will probably be different department.
Lettings and property management are very different skills and many agents just see this service as an ‘add on’ and way to make an extra percentage from you at the beginning. Do your research on good property managers
- Keep on top of everything
If you plan to manage the property yourself then you need to be on top of dates, such as;
– When your safety checks are due for renewal (gas currently every year, electrical currently every 5 years – if done)
– When the tenancy is due for renewal
If you get a management company in of course you don’t need to worry about remembering any of these!
- Contingency plans
You will need more of these if you managing the property yourself
– What if the tenants need to leave earlier than you planned they would?
– What if your plumber isn’t available, do you have a second point of call?
By their nature (good) property managers are organisers, problem solvers. They have contingency plans for contingency plans and revel in the chaos of getting something sorted.
*If it isn’t then as of April 2018 you won’t be able to let it out without making changes to the property to get it below this rating – ask us for details
Telephone. 020 3893 8635