It can be stressful being a landlord. Whether you’re looking to rent out a second home or building a small property empire, the concerns over your tenants, your property, and legal requirements are endless. Some may even question whether the whole venture is worth the fuss but how can current or potential landlords decrease the stress that comes with the job? We spoke to Francis Nicholls of MD Properties, a UK letting agency to find more information. Here are three tips to try and take the stress away from being a landlord.
1. Vet Your Tenants
This is of the utmost importance. You don’t want your property falling into the wrong hands so it’s vital to make sure that you have the right kinds of tenants. It’s important to know how they’ve treated any former rental properties and whether they’re the kind of tenants you want to take on.
Speak to former landlords as well as their current employers to find out the kind of person you’re letting into your home. Regular and consistent payments are the most important factor but it’s also good to find out what they do and how they spend their free time. If anything is suspicious or makes you question their suitability, act on the hunch and continue your search.
2. Outsource Jobs
If you want to save money, it may be tempting for landlords to try and take on any odd jobs themselves. Of course, nobody in their right mind would attempt to fix a broken boiler or fiddle around with a circuit box without adequate training, but something smaller like a broken washing machine or some basic DIY feels achievable.
Just don’t overstate your ability. You may be able to lay some laminate flooring or assemble some furniture but it’s probably better to call in the professionals if the garden wall collapses or you need something plastered. The same applies to broken appliances or cleaning between tenants. Not only will they do a better job in less time, but it will give you and your tenants the peace of mind that the job has been done the right way.
3. Hire a Letting Agent
Want to take the ultimate hands-off approach? It may be worth you hiring a letting agent to take care of your properties for you. Some agencies have spent decades cultivating their skills and knowledge to help make your job a whole lot easier. Many will even offer a variety of price plans depending on how much or how little you want them to do on your behalf.
Their work takes many forms. Typically, a letting agent will advertise and find new tenants for your property. They’ll take pictures, scour the online and in-person scene before vetting any potential tenants to ensure they are the best fit. They’ll set up viewings before checking on references and ensuring that the property lives up to legal requirements. They’ll collect rent for you and arrange for any repairs the property may need as well as advise you of any existing or changing laws you may be unaware of. Everything is done with the landlord’s permission so they just have to sit back and let their business grow.