Being a landlord can bring many rewards but equally has many responsibilities. In order to be a good landlord you need the right mix of skills, personality and know-how .
No one can argue that having a rental property is a ‘passive’ investment. There are demands on both a landlord’s time and cash flow. Just how much will often depend on what level of letting service a landlord choses when (or even if) they appoint an agent.
If you are more of a ‘go it alone’ type of landlord here are 5 traits that will make you not just a good landlord, but a great one.
Don’t accept second best
You don’t have to accept the first people that show interest in your property. Reading people and learning to read between the lines can be difficult, particularly when it comes to the nuances of letting out a property. However, no matter how good your people reading skills are you should always do your due diligence on prospective tenants – do the credit checks, check the references and make sure that they have the right to rent (a legal mandatory for every tenant now)
In all situations that involve people, clear communication is vital to avoid any misunderstandings. You need to let tenants know exactly what is expected of them and what they can expect from you when renting your property. Northwood have produced a Tenant Guide and Reference booklet for just that very purpose. Equally it is vital that the method and frequency of communication is agreed upfront. Handing over your private mobile number may seem like a practical idea but when your tenant rings for the fourth time in a weekend to complain that the neighbours are disturbing them is not likely to be something that you need or want.
Do what you promise
It sounds simple enough, but many landlords are guilty of putting things off. Repair and maintenance jobs will need to be done and getting on to them early on will not only avoid larger repair bills later on as thing deteriorate, it will avoid losing good tenants. Tenants will soon grow tired of having to chase their landlord when something needs fixing. From a legal standpoint not acting quickly on valid tenant maintenance and repair requests could prevent a landlord from evicting them if the need ever arose.
Bad things do happen. It’s how you deal with them that will set you apart from other landlords. Learn from everything, whether it’s a flood at your property or a disappearing tenant, a great landlord will always bounce back. Always ask yourself if there is anything you could have done to prevent it and if there is anything you can do in the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Stay on the right side of the law
There are currently over 145 pieces of legislation relating to letting. Being a good landlord requires being a compliant landlord. Think you know your EPC’s from your Gas Safety Certificates? Take Northwood’s Landlord Compliancy quiz to test your knowledge. . .
If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to evict a tenant or issue legal proceedings for any reason Northwood Legal can help you. With over 40+ years’ experience they can assist at every step of the process and help landlords to avoid the common pitfalls when taking on the responsibility themselves.
If however you aren’t a landlord who wishes to take total responsibility for their rental property, there are a variety of letting service options available. Northwood’s Guaranteed Rent service best suits those who want no involvement (and low risk) while at the other end of the spectrum and is the perfect ‘let and forget’ solution for anyone looking for a fixed rental income each and every month.
If you have a rental property, or are interested in becoming a Landlord, get in touch with me to find out how I can help you.