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Avoid Making These Common Landlord Mistakes
Whether a new landlord or increasing your property portfolio there are some pitfalls all landlords need to avoid.
Is the Price Right?
Do not overestimate the rent you can charge. Do your research, find out where your property sits in the market and set your rent accordingly. Be flexible with your rental rates. In a slower market, you may need to lower rent to limit the time your property stands vacant. It is unlikely your property will be occupied 100% of the time, so if you have a mortgage ensure you can cover the payments if you are not receiving rental income.
Don't Underestimate Maintenance Costs
There will inevitably be breakdowns and repairs to deal with and landlords are legally and ethically obliged to rectify maintenance issues in adequate time. To protect against unexpected costs it is important to take out landlord insurance which includes buy-to-let buildings and contents insurance and public liability. Also consider rent guarantee insurance, so that you still receive an income if a tenant fails to pay.
Do Those Background Checks
This is especially important. Tenants' employer and bank references should be verified as well as a credit check. Taking references from previous landlords will tell you whether they were reliable payers and looked after their previous properties.
Find a Good Managing Agent
If you do not engage an agent you must ensure you have enough time to complete proper reference checks, be contactable by your tenants if there is a problem, complete regular property visits and arrange repairs and maintenance within the legal timescales. A good Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) registered managing agent will relieve a lot of this pressure from the landlord.
They will do thorough background checks, advise on landlords' legal responsibilities and complete regular property visits to help prevent maintenance issues from escalating and also subletting and over-occupancy. They will handle deposits paid by tenants which need to be protected in a government scheme. With Simmons & Sons landlords benefit from a wealth of experience in residential lettings in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. Contact us to discuss your needs.
Posted on May 26 2017