People often ask me – how do you win your deposit disputes? How do you manage to get your tenant(s) to rectify any damage they may have caused before they move out?
The answer – get the starting point right!
Give guidelines to your tenant(s) when they move in!
We do this and the guidelines are the first page of our inventory. The guidelines you should give to your tenants when they move in, should include the following:
Examples of the most common deductions that a tenant can be charged for. What may be common sense to you will not necessarily be common sense to your tenant?
Everyone knows you should draw up a tenancy agreement before a tenant moves into your property – right!
YES – we all know the basics, but here’s my golden nugget of the week!
Do we provide our tenant(s) with something that provides all the information that they will need to be able to enjoy living in your property and makes sure that it is handed back in the correct condition or improved?
The answer is – give your tenant(s) a TENANT HANDBOOK.
You have done what you set out to do, you have become a landlord and you are now hoping to be on the path towards a passive income and that all illusive dream of house prices doubling which please please please I hope we eventually see in the North East.
If you have done your sums you will know that you have your fixed out goings (mortgage payments and insurance) as well as reactive maintenance costs. What I wanted to talk about in this e-shot is the LONG term maintenance that a lot of landlords do not plan for and you need to be aware of.
You pay for what you get –
Top 15 tips when doing maintenance on your rental property
1. Put hard tread matting in the entrance to encourage your tenants to wipe their feet.
2. Paint the exterior door step black – a lot better than touching up white every tenancy agreement.
3. Put laminate flooring in your living room/diner- these are your traffic areas and while more expensive, laminate will last longer than carpet.
4. Fit a UPVC ceiling in your kitchen/bathroom – you will no longer have condensation problems on the ceiling and you will no longer have to touch up the ceiling after every tenancy.
We have been voted the number 1 letting and estate agent for customer reviews in Gateshead on allAgents, the UK’s largest directory of reviews.
So how do you tell a good letting agent from a bad one?
What I find strange is when a new landlord comes across to us because of a bad experience with another agent, they did not do any research on that agent before choosing them. At NGU Homelettings we all work hard and want to be the best in the industry. I personally pride myself on my work ethic, high standards and my relentless will to succeed. I work from 5:00am in the morning till 7:30pm at night. This work ethic is upheld by both my staff and I and has allowed me to categorically answer the top 8 questions you need to ask to find out if a letting agent is any good.
If you are a couple of degrees out at your starting point it could mean that you are a massively off track when you get to the finish line. Only a couple of degrees can mean the difference between being a successful landlord with high yielding properties and a landlord who just seems to get by each month.
With this in mind, I wanted to share with you a new idea we are implementing in our tenant vetting procedure which came through a tenant lying on their application this week. This change in our vetting procedure will defiantly allow us to weed out more bad tenants and have an even higher conversion of obtaining the best tenants in the market place.
What is an inventory?
There are many definitions of an inventory for rental purposes but according to the AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks) “an inventory is a binding legal document that provides an accurate written record of the condition and contents of a property at the beginning of a tenancy”.
ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) on the other hand describe an inventory as “an absolutely essential document that provides a written benchmark, which should be amended, updated and recreated before the beginning of each new tenancy. A properly constructed inventory/schedule of condition details the fixtures and fittings and describes their condition and that of the property generally”.
Over the past few years there has been an endless amount of articles written on the importance of securing direct payments from local councils. If you attend property conventions, forums or seminars you are often lead to believe that direct payment is the central key to minimising your risk with LHA tenants. So much so that there now seems to be a growing culture of misconception within the industry for those who are new to property investment or to dealing with housing benefits as direct payment is portrayed as the holy grail of LHA. But is this really the case? Or is there more to it?
Securing an LHA tenant – The increasingly stereotypical route
Open up the property section of your local newspaper or search through an online portal today and you will see that more and more letting agents are offering their properties to LHA tenants with enticing offers such as NO BOND REQUIRED or MOVE IN FOR FREE. These offers are prime examples of a business model which is based on securing tenants quickly by removing as many barriers as possible that would otherwise usually prevent them from being able to secure a property. Aside from the monetary factors unfortunately for landlords the other barriers tend to relate to vetting procedures which more often than not are relaxed or none existent. This typically results in tenants being secured solely on their ability to qualify for direct payments rather than on their previous rental history and individual merit.