How to be a good Landlord!
Putting processes in place can help to make property management a lot easier, here are some tricks of the trade:
Communicating with tenants:
- Writing is always better than phone
- Do whatever is easiest for them – text, Facebook or even WhatsApp
- You don’t have to give out your phone number, as long as you are contactable – You can Skype
- Set out ground rules at the start of the tenancy about when you’re contactable, and stick to them! Once you deviate from this your tenants will always expect you to answer them, whatever the time of day.
Chasing up rent :-
- Ideally use standing order or direct debit – you’ll know it’s set up properly
- Diarise rent date and contact the tenant on the same day if the rent doesn’t materialise
- Have a process – e.g. text day 1, text day 2, call day 3, final warning day 4
- Don’t fall for those sob stories, you are running a business!
Dealing with emergencies :-
- What is an “Emergency” you need to set ground rules
- Instruct tenants about what to do in an emergency. You may not always be the best person to call first.
- Perhaps consider landlord emergency cover
Dealing with routine maintenance :-
- Build up trades contacts and ensure you treat them well
- Save a visit by seeing if it’s something the tenant can easily fix e.g. washing machine filter or unblock the sink
- Communicate clearly about damp and condensation – explain the difference, send yearly leaflets “how to guide”
- Use routine inspections to look for early signs of repairs that will need doing.
- Ensure you also check for early signs of repair works on the external of the property
- Quick check of each room
- Check smoke alarms
- Visually inspect electrics
- Look for condensation
- Look for early signs of repairs that will be needed
Be proactive and stop issues from happening in the first place, remember the saying “work smart, not hard”.
Until next time