Here’s a quick run-down of all the things I wish landlords would listen to for their own sake before they begin renting...
1. Remove any furniture or items you care about
This really is what is says on the tin, if you lived in the property before, chances are you have an emotional attachment to some aspects and if they are movable – MOVE THEM OUT. If you leave anything in there that you care about, be aware that it may get broken, or lost, and then you wont ever be able to get it back. Believe it or not, many landlords don’t think to do this before the tenancy starts and then lament the loss of a favourite chair, sideboard or even plant (yes ridiculous as it sounds, I have encountered a deposit claim for a favoured, now dead, plant in the past).
2. Get the property professionally cleaned before the tenancy begins
If all landlords did this, life would be so much easier for everyone involved. So, very simple, before you start renting the flat, get the property professionally cleaned from top to bottom and get an invoice confirming that a professional clean has been conducted on file (very important it says professional). Then, at every change of tenants, insist either they have it professionally cleaned before they leave, or another professional clean is conducted at their expense and claimed from their deposit. You cough up for this just once, get the right documentation to support this, make sure it is done every time it is vacant and you should never have to pay again plus you will be happy in the knowledge that you are providing a clean home to new tenants every time.
3. Get your warranties for appliances all in place and easily to hand.
Got new appliances? Great, register for the warranties, keep all the documentation safe (and provide it to your agent) and then when the washing machine breaks in 6 months for some unknown reason (and trust me it will) you or your agent (as you’re clever and signed up to have your property managed didn’t you?) can whip out a call to the manufacturer faster than you can say hotpoint and have it repaired in a jiffy without having to touch your pocket once. Splendid.
4. Get a rent guarantee in place
Only the most important one of all 5! Oh, the hours I have spent consoling landlords who entered into a tenancy without rent guarantee and their tenant fell into arrears and they waved this unpaid rent away forever. It saddens me to think that if they had only signed up to a guarantee scheme in the first place, they would have been reimbursed for this rent faster than they realised there were even any arrears in the first place. Do you really want to risk your rent and mortgage payments for the sake of a small fee per month?
5. Get a great, detailed inventory done when the tenancy starts
Inventories have come a long way in the last ten years, no longer are they one piece of paper saying; ‘living room? – yes. Kitchen? – yes’ Your inventory is one of the most important documents you will have as a landlord for that tenancy, it tells you what the starting condition of your property looks like and exactly whats in it and therefore, what your tenant needs to return it to AT THE END! (allowing for wear and tear of course). Get a good inventory done, go over it with a fine tooth comb, don’t let that inventory clerk get away with it if they have missed anything, get your new tenants to sign it and bobs your uncle, deposit negotiation life in 12 months’ time will be all the more easier.
Hope you found this helpful, please do get in touch if you have any queries.
Angharad Trueman – Managing Director
Found this useful? Landlords who liked this thought this blog was interesting too!