Being a successful landlord sounds like it should be easy. The right property, with the right tenant, and some luck should be enough. Unfortunately, there is a lot that can go wrong. There are always stories about rogue landlords in the press. These people always get more press than responsible landlords, and the general public believes that bad landlords are in the majority. Thankfully, there are more good landlords out there than most people believe. However, it’s not easy to be a successful landlord. Use these tips to be the best landlord you can, whether you get help from rental management or go it alone.
Treat Buy To Rent As A Business
Buy to rent is a business. Don’t forget that. If you don’t take your real estate business seriously, then it is unlikely that you will turn a profit. In fact, it could end up costing you money thanks to bad decisions and forgetfulness. Write a proper business plan that outlines your short-term and long-term goals, as well as how you plan to reach them. Manage your expenses and monitor your rental yields. If a property isn’t making you any money, sell it on.
Work With A Good Accountant
Accountants are an expense, but they can save you a lot of money. A good accountant will be able to help you to minimize your tax obligations and make sure pay what you need to when you need to. Unless you’re great with numbers yourself, it’s worth paying an expert to manage the books for you.
Use Landlord Software
Use landlord software to manage your business admin, rent collection, and more. This will keep all of the transactions for your properties in one place and makes sure you don’t forget to do anything important, like return a tenant’s deposit or book a service for a gas appliance. It will also keep track of rental payments, which is useful if your tenants don’t pay on time.
Act Like A Professional At All Times
As a landlord, you should act in a professional manner all the time. This includes making sure that all your correspondence with tenants is polite and to the point, treating tenants like customers, and maintaining professional boundaries. If you have a problem, try to resolve it in a professional, amicable way.
Memorize The Contents Of Your Tenancy Agreements
A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your tenant. It outlines what each party is responsible for. To avoid issues in the future, it’s a good idea to get familiar with each clause of the agreement that you ask tenants to sign. Most of the clauses will be self-explanatory, but it’s useful if you are able to explain quickly and clearly any clauses that cause confusion and draw your tenant’s attention to anything they need to know before they sign. If your tenant calls you out for something they think you haven’t done, you will be able to politely point out the relevant clause.
Offer Tenants Different Ways To Pay The Rent
If you want your tenants to pay their rent on time, make paying as easy as possible. Setting up direct debit payments is one of the best ways to make sure the rent is always paid on the correct day. You can ask your tenant what day is best for them, so their rent comes out on the same day as they get paid, for example. Try to be flexible about how the rent is paid to you. After all, it doesn’t really matter how they pay you as long as they actually do pay, right?
Be Open To Zero-Deposit Tenancies
The deposit is often a barrier for tenants who are on a lower income. Asking a tenant to find up to six week’s worth of rent at once can be a very big ask. It also makes things very difficult for tenants when they want to move out. Most landlords don’t release the deposit until the tenancy has come to an end, which means a tenant will need to find the money for a new deposit to hand over to the next landlord. Zero deposit plans make private rentals a lot more affordable for tenants. The tenant buys an insurance policy, which is about one week’s rent. This covers the landlord in the event of any damage to the property. If there are any issues at the end of the tenancy, the policy will reimburse the landlord and chase the tenant for the money. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.