Although most tenants will look after your property, it is important as a landlord to recognise that you are trusting a tenant with your most valuable asset.
As a landlord, you are legally responsible for the repair and maintenance of your property. Even if malicious damage is caused by a tenant, the responsibility of fixing this still falls on you.
But how can you minimise the risks? Read our top tips below to find out more:
Carry Out a Thorough Reference Check
- Gather photo identification.
- Ask for a utility bill or bank statement.
- Conduct a credit check.
- Ask for confirmation of employment.
Compile a Robust Inventory
- List each item and area of the property, along with the condition of the item.
- Include photo and video evidence, with a time and date stamp.
- Include short, explanatory written descriptions of the items.
- Have the report signed by the tenant, to acknowledge they have received the check-in report and had the opportunity to make amends.
Establish a Good Working Relationship with your Tenants
- Be accessible by providing clear, direct lines of contact.
- Clearly communicate your expectations and listen to your tenants.
- Be understanding of your tenants needs.
- Be reliable and address issues promptly.
Carry Out Routine Inspections
- Agree an inspection schedule when you start the tenancy.
- Carry out a first inspection within a month of the tenant moving in, then every six months even if you have a long-term tenant.
- Provide at least 24 hours written notice of an inspection.
- Agree a convenient time of day for the tenant, ideally when it is light so you can inspect the interior and exterior of the property.
- Take the inventory report to compare the condition of the property.
- Keep records of inspection, including photographic evidence to show what has been identified and fixed, along with dates of every inspection.
- Make sure tenants sign and date your inspection reports to agree that they are happy with the findings.
Ask for a Security Deposit
Although you do not have to take a deposit, your tenant is less likely to cause damage if their money is being held. A deposit also offers some protection if your property is damaged.
If you do take a deposit, you are legally required to protect it in a government authorised scheme. Deposits are capped at five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is below £50,000 and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 and over.
Carry out Regular Maintenance and Make Sure the Property is Secure
If you present a neat and tidy rental property that is secure and well-maintained, the tenant is more likely to treat it with respect. Tenants are less likely to look after a property that is scruffy and where repairs have not been carried out.
Make sure you choose flooring and furnishings that are easy to clean and are durable. You may want to consider CCTV or security lights to deter vandals.
Are you a landlord looking to let your next property? Are you looking for a service to take the stress out of being a landlord? Here at Boxall Brown & Jones, we offer a full property management service, to ensure your property is safe. We have property experts to hand who can help you every step of the way.
To enquire about our services, please contact us on:
Tel: 01332 384438