Landlords and investors often ask how to safeguard against bad tenants. There is no real answer to this but there are many precautionary measures that can be put in place to minimise the risk. Letting Agents must make sure to take every step to protect your investment, whilst this is producing you an income, and capital growth. However, nothing is without risk.
Whilst some investors have never had any real problems with their investments, studies show that there are thousands of horror stories that could have been dealt with more due diligence by the landlord in the beginning.
How To Protect Landlords And Investors From Bad Tenants
When you decide to let your home, make sure that the checks you carry out are carried out properly.
Don’t use an off the shelf tenancy agreement, instruct a solicitor to draft the agreement to suit you.
Gather references from their employers.
Ask for proof of wages, from their Company to ascertain if the new tenants can afford the rent.
Ask for previous landlord references, and if possible speak to their previous landlord.
Remember it’s not just the rent it’s all the extras that they will be liable to pay, on a monthly basis.
How To Choose The Right Letting Agent
This part can be more difficult as there are thousands of letting agents to choose from, look at letting agencies that are close to the property, look at their web site and see what properties they have let in the area.
Visit the letting agency and ask the agency-specific questions to try and ascertain how the agency can safeguard against bad tenants and protect the landlord from any eventualities. Ask them what preventative measures they will put in place if any situations do arise and what they can offer you as a landlord.
Questions To Ask the Letting Agent
Do you reference your tenants, or do you use an external referencing agency to safeguard against bad tenants?
Ask to see a copy of their tenancy agreement, and Read It Carefully.
What type of tenants rent your properties are they professional, families, hospitality workers or single occupants or students?
How many times a year do you carry out inspections and how strict are you on inspections?
Will I receive a condition report? This Is Very Important.
Who will look after my account and how long have they worked in the industry?
Ask To Meet The Agent, get a feel for who is going to control your account, you need to be comfortable to work with them ascertain if communications between you and the agent will be smooth, This Is Very Important.
Ask what systems the letting agency has in place to check rents are paid on time.
Ask what measures they take if the rent is not collected.
Meet the tenants if possible. You may not have any contact with them again but it will give you peace of mind.
Ask the lettings agency for references from existing landlords, with this you can ascertain how the management of your property will be run.
Look at testimonials from other landlords on google reviews to see what other landlords have said. Google reviews are more reliable than other review sites as they don´t charge the letting agent for the review service so they will not delete bad reviews.
Keep A Good Relationship With Your Tenants
One of the most important aspects of being a landlord and to safeguard against bad tenants is that you have time to deal with phone calls, emails and problems. Another important task is maintaining the property when there are maintenance issues, these will have to be carried out within a reasonable time frame. Don’t become a landlord if you don’t have the time nor the patience to do this.
If maintenance issues are not carried out promptly then you may be faced with non-payment of rent, and in extreme situations, court action.
Tenants have rights and these should be respected as future relationships can become very difficult if this does not happen. You will have to visit the property every 2 months for checks, or maintenance issues so you can deal with them when they arise.
If I Use A Letting Agent What Is Different?
If you have time then there is no reason why you cannot let your own home. However, instructing a letting agent is easier and will make your life a lot easier in the long run.
Robert Alan Homes takes pride in offering a personal service to all our UK based landlords, overseas landlords, and investors. We are available 7 days a week and can be contacted at all times. We take lettings and management seriously and listen to our clients.
Robert Alan Homes will carry out frequent checks of your property and maintain good communication with our landlord clients and tenants. We are here to help, so if you are looking to either change your letting agent or merely want some advice please call us on 0208 986 2222 or use our contact page.
If you follow the above guidelines then you can make the best enquiries and should have gathered enough information so that you can make a decision on which letting agency is right for you.
The relationship between you and your agent is very important.