You’ve always wanted to work for yourself and buying and letting property came to you as an obvious option but how do you become a successful landlord? Here are a few tips:
When tenants apply make sure to check their references. It is a lot easier to be a successful landlord if you have pleasant tenants.
Problem tenants may seem perfect in person so get in contact with previous landlords to make sure they are as great as they seem. If possible do a credit check to assure rent can be paid. You don’t have to take the first person who takes interest, you can pick and choose.
For best results make sure tenants:
- Have no recent evictions or property related disputes.
- Don’t have a recent criminal record.
- Have good references.
- Have a monthly income of at least 3 times the monthly rent.
When screening potential tenants make sure you do not discriminate people. You must follow the Fair Housing Administration Act at all times treating everyone fairly not matter what age, sex, race or religion they belong to. If you do not you may be the focus of a pricey lawsuit.
Put everything in writing
Protect yourself and your tenants by putting everything in writing. Never hand over the keys without the singing of a contract and receiving a deposit! You are just asking for trouble if you do. However landlords are protected to a certain extent thanks to the 1997 Assured Shorthold Tenancies agreement.
A good contractual agreement will be easy to understand and up-to-date on legislation. It should also comply with the Office of Fair Trading guidelines. If you own more than one property compile a folder of documents for each and clearly label. This folder should include items such as the inventory, safety certificates and any receipts.
Buildings and content insurance may be an obvious choice when living in your own property but who is responsible for what when renting? A tenant is only responsible for the items they own and therefore would only require to purchase contents insurance. A landlord however should hold many policies including: rental insurance and a property liability policy.
With any business it is important to protect yourself and any employees in order to be successful. Insurance is especially important if you have properties with outstanding commercial mortgages on them as you do not technically own the entire property.
Once you have tenants in the property it is important to provide a clean and secure residence. This will not only keep your property looking its best but will protect you from any damage to belongings that you may have left behind.
Make sure there are fire doors fitted as well as other safety precautions like extinguishers and smoke alarms. A security alarm would be a welcomed addition also.
If you are responsible for any repairs on a property then make sure to do these swiftly, especially if it is an essential item such as the boiler which creates hot running water. A quick reactive service will gain you recommendations to other potential tenants.
There are an endless number of tips on how to be a successful landlord but if you want to work for yourself as a successful landlord, just simply think “what would I want and expect if I was renting?”
Pure Commercial Finance are independent commercial finance brokers who really value their relationship with the customer. They will work to make your business irresistible to lenders and get you a great deal.