Join your local Landlords’ Association too. Local interpretation of laws can differ from one borough to another and so it is important to have the support of the largest national association for landlords and also your local association.
- This is the easiest way to keep up with legislation and to obtain advice on getting your paperwork right (tenancy agreements and notices etc.).
- Other landlords in your area will be keen to share good and bad experiences. Learn from their experiences rather than making your own mistakes.
- Obtain full details including names, addresses and contact numbers of referees and emergency contacts. Also obtain previous addresses, NI numbers, employer details and proof of earnings. This makes life easier if you ever need to track down an absconding tenant.
- Fill in an application form at the prospective tenant’s home in order to see how they look after it.
- Charge a fee to tenants of around £100 for completion of tenancy agreements, referencing, inventory etc.
- Visit The Landlord Association’Tenancy Deposit Scheme‘ for your legal obligations as a landlord
- Prepare an inventory – include everything stating the colour, condition of walls, ceilings, doors, fixtures & fittings etc, and get it signed so you can prove damages when the tenant vacates. The more detail, the better. Even include the colour of light switches and door handles and what they are made of. Comments like “carpets have just been professionally cleaned” or “walls are freshly painted” will also help to prevent disputes on checkout.
- Ensure that you arrange a checkout inspection and make sure the tenant is present – get them to sign confirming any damages and/or required repairs.
- Complete utility meter checks and ensure the incoming/vacating tenant signs to confirm meter readings.
- Inform the utilities companies and local authorities in writing of incoming/outgoing tenants and any applicable meter readings.
Look after your tenants
- Happy tenants will respect your property and will refer other potential tenants to you.
- Remember, it’s the little things that make a big difference – birthday cards, fast responses to problems, etc.