I have always lived in rented accommodation. Ever since I moved into my first flat/room/bedsit at the now very young and tender age of 20. I lived in an attic room in a shared house. I had one room and a separate kitchen. The bathroom was on the floor below and was shared.
I look back on it now with rose tinted glasses. I was young and so glad to be away from home and standing on my own 2 feet. I had a job, a social life and I thought I was ready for adulthood. Truth be known, I’m still not ready now, is anyone really? But I loved that bedsit, even the shared bathroom part, I never went in and used anything without attacking with a good spray of Mr Muscle bathroom cleaner and I never left anything in there, ever.
But this was just my first experience of landlords and living in a property that would only be temporarily mine. After 16 years of living in rented accommodation, I have experienced some of the best, and worst types of landlords. Although I’ve never been in a position thus far to purchase my own property, I am currently happy in a housing association house and I am happy knowing should I have any issues with my house, they will arrange to have it sorted as soon as possible.
But what should people know when considering becoming a landlord and investing in a buy to let property? Have a read below on some tenants tips for landlords that you may not have previously thought about but definitely should keep in mind.
Tenants Tips for Landlords.
Know Your Property.
Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? But if you know your property and what work it needs doing to it and the condition it is in before tenants move in, you are less likely to have a nasty surprise when someone does move in and request a repair.
Whether you are buying a brand new build or renovating. Check the condition. Make checks on any work being carried out. I have moved into properties where only half a job has been done and it is much harder to finish off in an occupied house as oppose to an empty property. If it helps, take pictures, build a visual portfolio.
Know Your Tenants.
Meet them, do thorough checks and ask for references. Try to visit their previous property and see how they live. Pop in for a cuppa whilst discussing terms and filling in paperwork. Get a feel for who they are and what exactly they will need from your property.
Not every property is suitable for everyone. Whilst this may scare off certain renters, it is best you have someone who will be happy in your property. So sell the good points but inform them of any limitations. eg a tiny bathroom with no bath may not be suitable for a large family but for couples or individuals, it will probably be fine.
Is it actually suitable? If your prospective tenant has a young family, then maybe that ground floor flat under 2 young lads in their first home together with a busy social life isn’t the right place for them. Sometimes it’s better to wait for the right tenant who will stay a bit longer than having a rotating door of people moving in and out.
This will also please any neighbours your property has especially those that own their homes. I know from experience that homeowners living next door to rented property feel happier when a tenant stays long term in properties that are let out. They get to know their neighbours and are not constantly worrying about who is going to move in next door to them.
Tenants are people too.
Some, not all, landlords forget their tenants are people. People who trust you to provide safe accommodation for them and their families too. Just because they aren’t in the position of being able to afford their own homes, doesn’t mean they should be subject to lower standards of living.
As a landlord, you have certain legal requirements to make your properties habitable for any tenants. To provide them with a certain level of standards. Just think, would you be happy living in your property? If the answer is no why not? And how can you fix that?
Tenants are not simply an income, they are people who could be working really hard every day to provide you with that income and as such deserve to be treated accordingly. So listen to their concerns. Attempt any repairs in an acceptable time frame and always make time for them. Because a happy tenant is a long term tenant and happy tenants recommend their landlords to others looking to move home. Especially important if you are looking to expand from one buy to let property.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
As a prospective landlord, you need to make sure you are up to date with all the laws and legalities surrounding the buy to let market and what your legal responsibilities are. Over at https://homelet.co.uk/landlord-insurance you can find more information on landlord insurances including an ebook you can download packed with advice from leading experts in this area.
So are you ready to become a landlord and take your first steps into the world of buy to let properties? I would love to know if these tenants tips for landlords helped you at all because let’s face it, without tenants, there is no buy to let market is there!