When it comes to being a landlord, a lot of responsibility rests on your shoulders – not only do you need to keep good tenants in your property, you need to ensure the house is maintained well and make sure you put measures in place to prevent the tenants from damaging your property. In short, you need to protect your investment. With that in mind, here are some tips for common mistakes you should be careful not to make as a landlord:
1) Not taking out insurance for your rentals
This might seem like one way to cut costs, but if your tenants default on their rent or you need to seek legal advice to arrange an eviction, you will really feel the pinch if you don’t have rent guarantee and landlord’s legal protection in place. Additionally, you will have the option to take out landlord’s home emergency insurance if a boiler goes or even if you are faced with a pest infestation.
2) Not getting the correct paperwork in place and holding a deposit
It is going to be much more difficult to take your tenants to court to obtain compensation for damage they have made to your property. It is a much wiser decision to hold a deposit from which you can deduct the cost of making repairs (excluding reasonable wear and tear). Similarly, check references and make sure you have the correct tenancy agreement in place.
3) Not taking immediate action if the rent is late
Ensure it is clear in the tenancy agreement when the rental is due and if the tenants miss this deadline, take immediate action. Read our article on what to do if your tenants aren’t paying the rent.
4) Cutting corners when selecting tenants
Good tenants make being a landlord a pleasure cruise while bad tenants (or even a bad letting agent) can be an absolute nightmare. Ensure you have a strict selection process in place and if your property stands empty for a few months don’t rush to fill it with the “wrong tenants”; use the time to do necessary repairs and maintenance.
5) Not keeping good tenants happy
It is worth letting “good tenants” paint the walls a colour they like and not pushing up their rent sometimes because by keeping a good tenant happy, they will stay longer which will also indirectly save you money and time.