As much as we’d like them to, tenancies don’t always go according to plan – often for reasons which are outside of a landlord’s control. But while it’s impossible to foresee every potential issue, there are steps you can take to prepare for the most common complications. Begin 2017 by following our five top tips to ensure your tenancy runs as smoothly as possible.
1. Make yourself available
When first moving into a property, it’s natural for a tenant to have a few questions. Start the tenancy off on the right foot by making yourself available to answer calls, or perhaps meeting in person over the first few days to iron out the details. This means you can ensure your tenant knows the ins and outs of the property, and if they report any problems, get them sorted as quickly as possible.
2. Establish a list of reliable local contractors
If and when a problem occurs within your property, being able to call on a list of contractors you can rely on saves time, energy and money. It not only ensures that you can sort any problems quickly, but means that your tenant won’t need to go out of their way to find a contractor that could end up costing you more.
If possible, keep a spare set of keys locally, such as with a neighbour or with yourself if you live close enough to the property, so that a tenant doesn’t have to use up their holiday allowance to stay at home for a contractor to arrive. However, it’s worth noting that your tenant might want to be present when contractors visit the property, so make sure to check with them first.
3. Stay up to date with compliance and safety checks
Safety requirements are regularly changing, so it’s worth reading up on the latest regulations and keeping track of your spending and safety paperwork in case a problem arises further down the line.
4. Inspect your property regularly
Calling your tenants every now and then to check that everything is ok with the property means that you can stay on top of any potential issues, while conducting an annual inspection also enables you to see for yourself if anything needs addressing. Regularly touching base with your tenants and building up a good relationship with them also means that they will be more likely to let you know of any problems and be more tolerable of any delays or difficulties surrounding rectifying it.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that tenants are entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property, so ensure you give 24 hours’ notice before viewing the property and don’t conduct an excessive number of investigations.
5. Treat this as a business transaction, not an emotional decision
When owning a property, it can be difficult not to have an emotional attachment to the building and to take any problems that occur personally. Ultimately though, the process of renting out a property is for the purpose of commercial gain, so viewing the situation objectively is key to having a successful tenancy!