I have mentioned previously that, although we rent the property we currently live in, Ed also owns property that he bought before we met, which he rents out. This effectively makes us landlords, and over the past few years we have had a number of tenants living in the property, which is also managed by a third party letting agency on our behalf.
Without previous experience as landlords, Ed and I have very much learnt as we’ve gone along, and it is definitely a steep learning curve. These are some of the things that I wish people would have mentioned to us when we first started renting the property out, as it most likely would have resulted in a smoother experience overall.
Install Additional Security Measures
Having lived, as a family, at the property before we rented it out, we figured it was in a fairly safe location, and with adequate security. Within a few months of renting, our tenant, who was a lone female with young children, had complained that she didn’t feel safe without a gate to the rear of the property. This is something we simply hadn’t considered, but actually makes sense for the property. Barriers Direct offer a whole host of home security improvements from gates to parking posts and locks, chains and padlocks, to make sure that tenants and landlords both feel the property is secure at all times.
Budget for Maintenance
It can be tempting to think that the property you rent out is up to standard and unlikely to need any repairs or improvements in the foreseeable future, but over the past few years we have had to fork out a fair amount of money when tenants have brought up issues. Most of these have simply been down to wear and tear, and are something that we could have, and indeed should have, been putting money aside for. Opening up a separate savings account and adding to this as and when you can will provide a rainy day fund for any issues that do arise, avoiding too much stress.
Ensure Tenants are Screened
This sounds awful, but we have been burnt on more than one occasions by tenants in our property who have ended up leaving early due to not being able to afford the rent, or leaving the property in a complete state after not looking after it adequately and it is upsetting that this could potentially have been avoided by better screening by our letting agents. Whether you are renting privately, or using a third party company to assist, make sure that there is a screening process in place for potential tenants. Think about what is important to you and put this in place, whether it is avoiding families, smokers, people with pets or students, make sure you have something in place to ensure that the people moving in are likely to look after your property the way you would yourself.
As I say, Ed and I are by no means experts and are still relatively new to being landlords, but if I were to give some advice to us as we started out, I would definitely mention the points in this post, as they are things we didn’t really consider, and would have saved some hassle and stress along the way.
This is a sponsored post, however all words are my own.