As with any business venture there are risks involved. So, to make sure you’re not victim to the pitfalls of being a landlord, carrying out the following checklist - that’s been put together by LandlordZone - will help to make sure your 2014 is as successful and stress-free as possible:
- Never make the mistake of assuming a bad tenant is better than no tenant - an empty property might be highly undesirable, especially if rental payments are required to cover a mortgage, but a bad tenant could end up costing you thousands in damages, plus they may run up huge rent arrears and then abscond
- On a similar note, ALWAYS check references thoroughly. Just because a tenant appears to be nice and respectable, it does not automatically mean they ARE nice and respectable!
- If your property is subject to a mortgage, ensure the lender is aware you are letting it—this is a common mistake people make when letting their home for periods of time. A failure to do so could invalidate any insurance policy you have on the property
- Do not be tempted to cut corners on landlord insurance—a good policy might prove to be essential if you fall victim to #2 on our list
- Always ask for a decent deposit to cover the cost of potential damage to the property—expensive cleaning and repair bills at the end of a tenancy are a big problem for many landlords
- Overdue rent is a very common issue faced by landlords, so make sure you have a clear tenancy agreement drawn up with the rent due date highlighted to avoid confusion. If a rent payment is late, take immediate action to resolve the problem.