‘How to’ Landlords……….Top 10 Tips to help Optimise your Rental Potential!Finding tenants, renting  at the right price can be complicated and time consuming.  Here are our top 10 tips to help you succeed:

1. The Price is Right – Make sure that you do your research so that your property is priced competitively.  A look on the internet at property sites (such as iProperty) and local on-line newspapers should give you an idea.

2. At your service – Once your property is rented you need to ensure that you have regular contact with your tenants to ensure that they are happy with payment and maintenance arrangements.  If you don’t have time to do this yourself consider using a letting service agency.  If problems are not dealt with promptly you might lose your tenants or have a property returned to you in a dilapidated condition.

3. Marketing – Finding tenants can be hard work and high profile and online advertising is expensive.  You can advertise your property with The iProperty Company for free.  Ensure that your listing is of a good quality and keep it up-to-date.  Good pictures and an accurate description are critical.

4. Viewing – The iProperty Company provides lots of help and advice on how to present your house in the best way.  The principles are the same whether you are selling or renting.  It can be tempting to skimp on the small details if you don’t actually live in a property, but little things count and can help you convince potential tenants that they can live there happily.  If you have a property in a very popular area, consider using the iProperty ‘open house’ function to handle multiple viewings on a single date.  See our tutorial for more information.

5. Negotiate – In order to successfully negotiate, you need to have pre-defined what you’re looking for in a tenant! This can include the rent, proof of income, accepting pets and so on. Our advice for landlords is be aware negotiations can be very time consuming and to be as prepared as possible.

6. Checks – Not making the proper checks can result in a nightmare for landlords.  References can be obtained through independent third parties including: credit checks,  employment history, financial history, personal circumstances and communication with previous landlords at previous addresses. The better companies can also arrange gas and electrical inspections, to meet with the UK’s strict legally enforced safety standards.

7. Tenancy Agreements – Are binding for both parties so read carefully and take legal advice if you are in any doubt.  Specialist online document signing systems can make the processing of tenancy agreements as fast and efficient as possible.

8. Deposits and Inventory – Take the time to make a detailed inventory.  If you are not sure how, or want to be sure, an independent inventory service can draw up a detailed inventory of the property before your tenant moves in. The inventory lists the condition of the property itself as well as its contents, minimising risk of any kind of dispute over the return of the deposit after the tenancy is finished.  Strict rules apply to all UK residential letting deposits now, so make sure that you know the rules to avoid losing money because of simple misunderstandings.

9. Moves and inspection  –  It’s a good idea to agree dates to visit the property, maybe twice a year, to check its condition. Try to leave appliance instructions out in the home for when people move in – it can help the tenants tremendously not to mention help to make sure they don’t inadvertently break appliances.

10. Décor and Furnishing – If you are letting your property unfurnished make sure that your tenants know the rules with regard to décor.  Make sure that any restrictions on painting, papering and hanging pictures are clear.  Installing cheaper kitchens more often will help find new tenants more easily.  Most tenants prefer a clean, cheap kitchen to something expensive and dirty-looking.  If you do furnish, protect beds with coverings and choose sofas and chairs with washable covers.  A clean lick of paint will also help maintain your rental value.  White or cream appeal to a broad range of tastes and can be easily touched-up or repainted

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Dawn Blake

Dawn Blake

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