Some landlords seem born to do it and make it their determined mission to create a business empire based on let property. Others might have fallen into the role of landlord almost by accident, with a more modest objective in their sights.
It is towards this second, accidental owner of let property, therefore, that these pieces of advice from fellow landlords are offered. A number of them appear in the UK Landlord Forum:
Landlord and tenant
- if you have accidentally fallen into the role of landlord, it might be difficult striking the appropriate relationship with your tenants;
- of course you probably want to be civil and helpful, but it is worth remembering that your relationship as landlord is always in the final analysis a business relationship with your tenants;
- others in your position suggest that it is important to remember this distinction;
- what was the best piece of advice? It all depends, of course, on the role you’ve taken on as a landlord, the person you are and the type of property you are letting. But we’d love to know what struck the right chord with you, so get in touch.
References and credit checks
- you rely upon the rental income from your tenants, so how do you try to make sure that they are reliable and responsible in paying the rent;
- references and credit checks are the classic means of doing so, but a new or part-time landlord might find it difficult to know where to begin or how to get it right;
- this might be a job for a letting agent – the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) helps you search for one in your area – or try one of the established credit reference agencies such as Experian;
Malicious damage by tenants
- however carefully to check and screen your tenants, there is always the possibility of a bad apple treating your accommodation with the ultimate disrespect by causing malicious damage;
- some landlords who are new to the business have complained on the Landlord Zone discussion forum that their landlord insurance does not appear to cover the risk of damage from such malicious acts;
- the swift response was the advice to find a landlord insurance provider who includes malicious damage by tenants as a standard element of cover (such as ourselves);
- at the very heart of any successful landlord tenant relationship is the formal agreement between the two of them that takes the form of a tenancy agreement;
- for the avoidance of any doubt, to reduce any possibility of conflict or misunderstanding, and to give you the formal protection when you need it, a clear and well-drafted tenancy agreement is essential;
- for tips about the different types of agreement and what each should include, you might want to go to the official government website;
Tenancy deposit protection scheme
- any tenancy starting after the 6th of April 2007 is required by law to have any deposit received from the tenants to be held securely by an approved third party agent;
- although many discussion forums might focus on the protection this affords the tenant – see Tenants Tips, for example – the scheme also helps to protect the interests of landlords in the handling and of tenants’ deposits.
Which of these have you found the best piece of advice? It might all depend, of course, on the type of landlord you are and the kind of property you let. But let us know your favourite – we’d love to know.