If you're a landlord, then it's fully understandable that you'll want the best possible tenants for your property.
To find the best tenants, there are several pre-emptive steps that you can take before they move in and decisions you can make during the tenancy to ensure all is running smoothly and any issues are prevented.
Here's an outline of these steps and how they can help you reduce the risk of problem tenants.
It can tell you more about their credit history, background, and employment status.
In doing so, tenant referencing allows you to assess the suitability of your potential tenants and have background checks carried out by experts.
In our opinion, tenant referencing is a vital process when you're looking to let out your investment property.
With tenant referencing, you get to know more about who's moving into your property, allowing you to make an informed decision about the tenants you choose.
With fast and thorough checks, you'll be able to ensure that you're accepting the most suitable tenants for your property. Buy to let properties are significant investments – so you don't want to take any unnecessary risks.
A written tenancy agreement
By putting your tenancy agreement in writing, you'll have a clear and up-to-date record of the tenancy and its guidelines.
A tenancy agreement sets out the tenancy's legal terms and conditions in a formal contract between you and your tenants. It can either be for a fixed-term or a periodic tenancy.
This will clearly show the rights and responsibilities of both you and your tenants, clearly displaying who's responsible for what around the property.
A tenancy agreement should include (as a minimum):
- The names of those involved
- The price of rent and how the tenants will make payments.
- How and when the landlord will review the rent.
- The full deposit amount and how you'll protect it.
- Under what circumstances part or all of the deposit can be withheld.
- The start and end dates of the tenancy.
- Conditions around subletting.
- The full responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord.
You'll legally protect yourself and your property by completing a written, signed, and dated tenancy agreement.
As well as this, your tenants will be in no doubt about their responsibilities while they live in the property, reducing the likelihood of you experiencing any problems.
Carry out regular inspections
By carrying out regular inspections, as you're legally entitled to (if you give your tenants plenty of notice), you'll be able to stop any problems before they become serious.
For example, if you inspect quarterly, it'll be unlikely that condensation will develop into mould before you can deal with it. A simple reminder to your tenants to periodically open the bathroom window each day could be enough to save you both time and money later on.
Additionally, inspections are a great way of discovering whether the tenants are treating your property well, and they're also a great way of building a rapport with tenants.
Keeping in touch
By regularly keeping in touch with your tenants, you stand a much greater chance of the tenancy being a success and your tenants being respectful of both you and your property.
Building a good relationship with your tenants is important as it means that they'll be much more likely to contact you if any issues arise during the tenancy.
This way, you can get them repaired quickly before the problem worsens.
Staying in touch doesn't require detailed phone conversations on a daily or weekly basis, but a quick text message every month or so to check in never goes amiss.
Having the right insurance
Finally, if the worst-case scenario happens, you must ensure that you have the right insurance in place. It's important that you're fully covered if anything goes wrong or if you or your tenants encounter problems.
Our Landlord Insurance is designed specifically for the unique needs of landlords and the potential risks you face. It can help you with the costs for damage to your property or its contents caused by tenants.
By following these simple steps, you'll reduce the risk of problem tenants in your property.
You'll ensure you're attracting the right tenants by doing the right preparation through tenant referencing and ensuring a tenancy agreement is signed.
By inspecting regularly and keeping in touch, you'll be able to prevent any problems from arising and will build a rapport with your tenants.
Finally, by ensuring you have the right insurance for your property, you'll be covered, even if the worst should happen.