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Our Top Ten Landlord Tips for 2016
Whatever your other New Year’s Resolutions, whether they are exercise, diet or finance related, one resolve you need to have is to be the best possible landlord you can be in 2016. Being a great landlord works in everyone’s favour as you will make more money, have better future investments and have happier tenants if you put your all into being a great landlord. 2015 was a good year in the buy-to-let and rental markets and 2016 looks set to continue that way so make sure you read on to discover our top ten tips for landlords in the coming year.1. Reward Long Term TenantsThe demand for rental properties is on the increase and more and more tenants are in it for the long haul, wanting to rent properties for years rather than months. There is a tendency to take long serving tenants for granted, leaving their repairs and checks until last and neglecting to contact them. In 2016 make sure you put your long term tenants first, they are your best customers and deserve your attention just as much as more difficult clients. Reward good tenants and you are more likely to keep them.2. HMOsWhether or not you currently rent out HMOs they certainly are the future of the rental market in many locations. So many people are looking for affordable accommodation that sharing property becomes the only viable solution. If you haven’t already bought a property to rent as a HMO you should consider this in 2016. If you are a landlord of HMOs then be prepared for even more demand in 2016.3. Think Long Term With more and more tenants choosing rental as a permanent lifestyle you need to think long term when accepting new applicants. Read their application and references and conduct the interview with the idea in mind that they may stay for at least the next 5 years. Bearing this in mind, make sure you choose wisely and think and ask about their futures e.g. are they planning on starting a family. Preparing in this way will help you choose the right tenants for your property.4. Get the Price RightMake sure the rental price you are offering is in line with the rest of the market or slightly under if you want to attract the best pool of tenants. Scammers and tenants unlikely to pay will often go for overpriced rentals as they have no intention of paying the rent anyway. The other negative of overpricing is that tenants will look elsewhere first and you won’t be able to select from the cream of the crop.5. Tenant Checks Make sure you do a thorough background check on possible tenants and advertise that you will do so as this can stop potential time wasters from applying. Conduct checks fairly and thoroughly and don’t just choose tenants based on those most similar to you or those who you just take a liking to as this system is flawed and won’t always work.6. Credit ChecksCredit checks are just as important as background checks. Make sure you take the time and pay the cost of a credit check before taking on new tenants in 2016. It is the best way to protect yourself and the tenant from future problems in rent paying. Always ask for a guarantor as an additional guard.7. Room RentalsAn upcoming trend at the moment is for tenants to secretly rent out rooms in HMOs for short term stays using sites such as Airbnb. You need to cover this type of arrangement in your lease and contract in order to stop tenants from doing this if necessary. Essentially you must know who is staying in your property at all times. Make sure your tenancy agreement uses language and terms relating to both long and short term guests/residents.8. Stand your groundThe demand for properties is so high that a landlord’s market, although a good thing, can be a challenge as the pressure of finding a home brings out the worst in renters. Many prospective tenants will make offers and push you to rent to them. Don’t grant favours, stand your ground and wait for completed application forms and checks before making your choice. Making concessions at the start of the rental process gives leeway to the tenants to push you further in the future.9. Health and Safety RegulationsAs every year, 2016 will no doubt see the inclusion of further regulations for landlords, particularly in the area of health and safety. Whilst complying with the latest health and safety regulations can seem a drag it is essential to do so. You are protecting both yourself and your tenants so make sure you stay up to date and above board in 2016.10. UpskillIf you want to be a leader in the market, you can’t afford to stop learning. Make time in 2016 to invest in yourself and in your business. No matter the scale of your property rental business there is more to learn and grow in. Nick Fox Property Mentoring offers a range of courses, books and advice to landlords so make 2016 the year that you intentionally invest in yourself and in your work. https://nickfox.co.uk/shop-page/ Here’s to another successful year of property rental for you and yours, remember to contact Nick Fox property Mentoring Services for further advice and training.