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If you’ve been following me from the beginning you will know that I finally got my foot on the property ladder last summer and bought a little cottage. It’s beautiful and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to do this. It got me thinking though, if I decided to have another child for example, I’d out grow it for sure…
I was thinking earlier, what if we have to move soon, not that I am expecting anymore children but simply because I have too much stuff. Running a business comes with a lot of paper work and I’d love an office at some point….
If we did decide to move I would rent out my home for sure, but as a first time landlord what are the best things to know as a new landlord?…
The Best Tips for New Landlords…
So here we go, here are the best tips for new Landlords…
Use An Agent
So obviously this one may seem a little old fashioned, especially with the rise of sites like Gumtree, Purple Bricks and so on, and while they’re great because they don’t take commission, they also don’t offer you any protection if things go wrong.
As a first time landlord I’d recommend using an agent and loosing a little commission in exchange for advice, the initial meeting of the client and a background check/ contract.
They’re also a useful go between and mediator if things go wrong, or something keeps breaking and the client becomes angry. It saves the stress and hassle of sorting out plumbers, electricians yourself and they check the property regularly for you.
Choose the Right Insurance
Get boiler cover, and damage covers. Insurance is going to ensure the smooth sailing in your property lease and it’s going to keep your clients happy which means they’re more likely stay for longer.
Have savings and be prepared for the property to be left unoccupied …
So this might be difficult, especially if you are using the rent to pay your mortgage, but I would always recommend having a savings account. It might take a couple of years to save some money but it is certainly worth it.
You’d hope that the property wouldn’t be left unoccupied, but what if it is? Have you got the funds to cover your mortgage? The last thing you want is to end up in debt as if you need to remortgage years later this could effect your chances. Avoid getting into debt at all costs however tempting.
Meet the Tenant and keep in contact
As someone who has rented in the past I’ve had a whole host of Landlords, messaging every other week is just annoying. But what’s even worse are those Landlords who just don’t seem to exist. Everything goes through the agent and even when the agent leaves them messages they don’t respond.
Stay in touch, be friendly, introduce yourself and keep it professional. Your tenants are going to respect you more. They’re more likely to contact you if something has gone wrong and take care of the property.
Keep the Decor Neutral
So you want light airy rooms, with minimal furniture (less chances of damage and less expense to set up).
Big windows and sun roofs are going to let in lots of light, you should also keep the walls neutral colours. It’s going to be easier to redecorate and it makes the room appear bigger.
Aesthetically it’s going to appeal to more tenants and it just looks professional…
Add some greenery, potted plants are going to brighten the rooms in a modern style, they’re pretty cheap and add class. Little finishing touches like this are going to make your property stand out.
Redecorate after every client
Don’t leave anything electrical if you can help it, with the exception of the cooker. You’re liable for anything electrical so don’t leave it to chance…
Also get in there, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get dirty and redecorate, after every tenant. It’s going to ensure less work in the long run and it allows you to identify the damage, if any.
I’ve lost track of the times I’ve moved into a home only to find the landlord hasn’t done what they promised. It breaks the trust with your tenant from the get go and it means they’re more likely to redecorate themselves, who knows what they will do…
Be responsible for your property and take care of it, ask your tenants to do the same.
Have an emergency plan
If things go wrong, i.e the tenant stops paying, damages the property, gets pets when you’ve asked them not to, have a back up plan.
Write down what actions you will take. It’s going to guide you through those challenging times and help you keep your cool. Make sure you’re up to date with tenant regulations and follow them by the book. That way things will work out in your favour.