Don't let your property to anyone without checking the prospective tenants credit history, references and background. These checks at the beginning of the tenancy are vital, as far to often Northamptonshire landlords have foregone this process to their detriment later on during the tenancy. Many tenant problems like, Late rental payments,or not paying the rent at all, or worse can only be identified by effective due diligence.
Take the time to study your legal responsibility as a landlord and the legal responsibility of the tenant. This is very important if you plan on managing the property yourself.Since the rise of Buy to let mortgages the government has consistently introduced legislation that directly effects the relationship between the landlord and tenant. A good place to start is The Housing Act 1996 and Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 this will give you a basic understanding of how the law views the relationship between landlord and tenant. This is an ongoing process of learning as new legislation is being consistently introduced by government.
Make sure the terms and conditions of the tenancy are in writing and signed by both parties, with another witness signature if possible.You should make sure that the tenant understands what you expect from them and what they can expect from you while renting your property. How & when the rent will be collected, an inventory of the property condition, how deposits and disputes are handled should be in place prior to the tenant moves in.
Be sure to determine a competitive rental rate that will cover expenses and bring in a return on investment (ROI).Many landlords base their rental charges on the cost of their mortgages repayments only, Be aware of hidden costs and make sure you are financially covered for unforeseen eventualities, such as a void periods and/or maintenance.
As a landlord it is in your best interest to have a system in place that deals with maintenance issues and annual safety checks. Unless your a qualified builder maintenance issues are best outsourced to qualified professionals. You should have at least 2 contacts for each trade this will give you the best chance of getting issues done without to much delay. Many of the maintenance issue can be identified or avoided by consistent inspections at least every 12 weeks as this will keep you up to date with the condition of the property and highlight any potential problems. There are many good insurances that can cover most eventualities but this will have to be added to your monthly outgoings on top of mortgage payments. Its is important to remember that With certain issues tenants may have the right to withhold the rent or make a court claim for damages caused by adverse or defective conditions within the property.
You should have in place a system of recording all communications and financial transactions connected to your property for at least 2 years. Renting property is looked on as a business so at some stage you can expect to hear from the tax man who may request to see your records.
Since the tenant deposit scheme was introduced in 2007 this has been a sticking point for many private landlords and even some letting agents. According to landlord action 38% of landlords face eviction problems because of failing to protect the tenants deposit. Some experts have suggested that the number is much higher as a large number of disputes go un-contested. The protection of deposits and the issuing of the prescribed information are of paramount importance failure to do this within the 30 day limit can seriously effect your ability to evict a tenant from your property.
Tenants have a right to enjoy their rental property without the intrusion of the landlord. Respecting the privacy of your tenants privacy is not to be ignored. Provide as much notice as possible if you intend on visiting the property for any issue, legally you are required to give at least 24 hour notice before conducting a visit, but it is advisable to give as much notice as possible.
In order to deal with rent arrears effectively you must have some sort of procedure in place. Communicating with the tenant is the main objective as there could be a number of reasons why the rent is not being paid. However this must be dealt with quickly before it goes past a point of no return. Tenants not paying the rent is a big issue especially in the current economic climate according to a survey conducted by Money Advice Trust charity there was a 37% increase in rent arrears compared to 2011. They have highlighted rent arrears as the fastest-growing debt problem and state that more than 50% of calls to the National Debtline are now from people renting their home.
Focal point estates offer free advice to residential and commercial landlords in Northampton-shire, so you can Put you faith in a quality agent like Focal Point Estates who have the experience,expertise and systems in place to deal with issues and manage your property effectively.We are a regulated agent and have a redress scheme for both landlords and tenants.