I’ve been working with homelet.co.uk about renting properties and giving advice to landlords and tenants. As most of you know, I rent a flat on my own. I’ve been renting properties since university and although I’d love to be able to buy my own place, renting can be an ideal alternative when you’re still not sure where you want to end up.
There’s plenty of advice out there for people who are looking into renting, but what about landlords? It’s a big thing to rent out a property. I’ve had good and bad landlords so wanted to share some thoughts and advice I would give to landlords – from a tenants view, of course!
Get boiler cover!
I’ve had so many problems with boilers in rented properties. My current one is RUBBISH and it keeps cutting out. I have been on at my landlord at for months about it.
He did try to get cover for it, but guess what – as the boiler was already broken and old, they wouldn’t let my landlord take out the insurance.
They said I needed a brand new boiler which can be a few thousand pounds. A lot of boiler companies can give you boiler cover from £5 a month. Even better, the tenant can call them to get their boiler looked at themselves, meaning if you’re away or unable to get to the property, you don’t need to worry about your tenant being without hot water or heating.
My boiler completely gave out a few months ago and my landlord was out of the country. I had to go 5 days without heating and hot water!
This is not the way to gain loyalty and trust of your tenants.
Surprisingly, landlord’s insurance isn’t a legal requirement. It’s similar to normal house insurance but also covers things such as rent not being paid, the liability of accidents at your property and damage done by the tenants.
If you are renting out a property that is furnished, then ensure you have storage for any unwanted furniture in case the tenant has some of their own furniture already or wants some removing.
I currently rent a 2 bedroom flat and asked for the bed in the second bedroom to be removed so I could use it as an office.
When the ceiling in my living room fell down in an old house, it took the landlord months to get it fixed. Initially, he blamed us and wanted us to pay for it. He thought we were jumping on the bed in the room above? WHAT?
This is also the same landlord that asked us to put 50% towards new carpets when we first moved in.
Also, the same landlord who took a month to fix the back door when we got broken into. We had cardboard from a pizza box taped over the hole in the glass for weeks.
If your tenant reports something broken, just fix it. If you are unable to do something about it quickly, then be honest about it and regularly update your tenant of the progress.
Build a relationship.
My favourite landlord ever was Ali. He was two houses ago now and was kind, funny and caring. When our door broke so we were locked in the house, he was there in 5 minutes to fix it.
When we renewed our contract, he came around to do an inspection, left us a bottle of champagne and also changed all the lightbulbs for us.
Building a relationship will mean your tenants will be more respectful of your property from the start to the end of the contract!
Have you ever rented? What advice would you give landlords? Do you have any nightmare stories?
You can download this e-book with advice for landlords here.