Every New Year calls for resolutions. And if you’re a landlord, often this will involve feeling more in control of the huge problem of rent being paid on time.
You will want to approach the New Year with new ideas on how to ensure rent payments are kept up to date, and you aren’t lagging behind paying the mortgage or chasing tenants, which can cause friction and a breakdown in your relationship.
Nobody wants to have to turn nasty, bringing out the big guns with legal jargon, but sometimes it’s inevitable if tenants aren’t playing fairly and by the rules.
However, hopefully a few of these tips can prevent things getting that bad and make sure you get paid on time each month:
Pick Your Tenants Wisely
It sounds obvious, but numbers of evictions have increased in recent years – which is something you want to avoid, as it can take up to 5 months sometimes to evict a tenant and during this whole time it’s likely you won’t be receiving any rent at all on the property.
To prevent having hassle with troublesome tenants, minimise the risk by carrying out a simple background check – previous landlord references, last three months bank statements, employer references, credit checks, identity checks; these are all good indications of a tenant’s typical behaviour. There are tenant referencing services by Total Landlord Insurance which can carry out these checks for you.
Charge A Realistic Rent
It is tempting to push rent prices up to make back a little bit more profit – especially if you want to make back on what you put into decorating. However, it is better to have an average rent price and therefore a better chance of your tenants paying it, than to have the flat lie empty or tenants struggling to make it each month.
Keep A Record Of Everything
It is so important to have a record of all your agreements and arrangements with tenants. This prevents anything from coming back on you, and you’ll also have time and date references for everything – including when tenants pay their rent. Also, having a rent book for your tenants if they pay weekly is also important.
Rent Guarantee Insurance
There may be occasions when you have good tenants, but for example, despite being reliable and trustworthy with paying their rent usually, they are made redundant and in a position where they cannot meet the payments.
This is a difficult one, but there is a solution in the form of rent guarantee insurance. This is good cover to have anyway, as it not only covers you in this situation, but will also cover legal costs for eviction processes as well.
Visit Your Property Regularly
Don’t ever get complacent and leave a property to run itself. If you pay a couple of visits within the first few months, and make sure to follow them up you will be aware of how the tenants are behaving within the property – and whether there is anything dubious such as subletting or benefit fraud going on.
However, even if everything is running smoothly, it can simply help to maintain a pleasant working relationship with your tenants and show that you’re a considerate and approachable landlord. In turn, this should hopefully make them want to avoid letting you down with the rent.
Article written with help from http://www.totallandlordinsurance.co.uk