Managing tenants can be difficult to get right, particularly if you are a first time landlord.
Here are our top tips for managing your tenants competently.
- Create a tenancy agreement
If you are managing your buy to let property independently, making up the rules as you go will give your tenants the chance to create loopholes. Ensuring that you have a written agreement which is given to your tenant means that you don’t have to explain or make up excuses as to why a certain action is not allowed, you can simply refer to the agreement. Once an agreement is created, set a good example for your tenants and try not to stray from it.
- Set office hours
As a landlord, you get to set your own hours meaning if you decide to advise your tenants that you are available only between 9pm and 5pm on weekdays; you can allow your phone to go to voicemail if you are contacted outside of these hours. This reinforces when you are available and will eventually ensure that tenants will only call you outside of this time if it is an emergency, in which case they are likely to leave a message that you can respond to.
- Be ‘in the know’
You need to be well equipped to handle certain problems you will face as a landlord and the best way to ensure you can is through education. Reading relevant books, going on courses and speaking with mentors are all great ways to improve your abilities. Join an online forum so you can ask questions and receive insightful answers to your queiries. Keep an eye on our Landlord Zone where we have the latest news and advice to help you with your responsibilities. These are all great ways to improve your abilities.
- Quality product means quality tenants
To a certain extent, the quality of your tenant depends on the quality of the property you are offering. Providing an above average home means that you are more likely to attract a high standard of tenant who could be more inclined to stay for a longer term. In addition to your property, your service and the way you manage your property will also impact the tenant’s perception of the ‘product.’ Be organised and available, fix repairs promptly and be professional.
- Charge a late fee
It might sound harsh but charging a late fee for not being able to pay rent on time can deter tenants from making this mistake. By being strict with late payments, you will also be causing tenants to put rent higher up on their list of priorities which is a huge benefit to you as the landlord. Ensure that you make your tenants aware in advance of this policy so that they can’t accuse you of being unfair if you ever need to charge a late free.
- Fix repairs promptly
Most repairs can be easily fixed, therefore if you are handy with DIY and enjoy fixing things then go ahead, but there will be certain things that you may not know how to repair meaning you should hire a professional to solve the problem. Although this might seem like an unneccesary expense when ou could spend the time to work it out yourself, you may end up doing more damage than good. You also need to balance cost savings with actually enjoying being a landlord and not taking on unneccesary stress.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be on the way to managing your tenants easily and in a stress free way!
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