Renting out property can be tiresome work. There are so many things that could go wrong and if they do, you know they’re immediately your problem. There are little steps you can take to save yourself, and your tenants, from future fiascos. Why not make life easier and check out our list of Handyman Tips below?
Know the Law.
Before you start thinking about appliances, décor or rent prices, you need to know the basic laws for renting out a property. It is your investment, and you need to know your rights and what to do if something goes wrong. Once you have a decent understanding of the 101 basics, the rest should happen naturally.
Sort Out Your Tenancy Agreement.
Arguably, your future tenants are the most important factor to consider during your time as a landlord. You could give your tenants the perfect house and within a matter of weeks it could end up messed up leaving all your hard work in vein.
A proper tenancy agreement will set out all the exact responsibilities and chores of both tenants and landlord, not to mention that it offers both sides 100% protection in case of a dispute.
Make sure you’ve got an up to date contract so you don’t end up a victim of an outdated agreement. And, of course, make sure that all tenants sign it before they move in. It’s a great idea to educate your renters on how one can get a security deposit back with zero deductions.
Join a Letting Service.
We know that getting the grip of rules and regulations for renting a property can be somewhat overwhelming. Why not get someone to help you?
Whether it’s your first time renting out a property, or you’re already an experienced landlord for years, a letting service – such as Andrews – can help make your life so much easier. It can be something as simple as finding tenants to rent your property. Or it could be the bigger jobs such as retrieving rent and contacting contractors.
Whatever you need help with, a professional letting service will surely save the hassle and nerves with most landlord chores.
This is otherwise known as Portable Appliance Testing. Essentially this is anything with a plug. Though this is not a legal requirement, it’s a quick way of making sure the household meets health and safety regulations. Make sure to get those appliances tested regularly.
This simple step can save you up to £20,000 in fines and even potentially imprisonment.
- Tips for finding a reputable electrician?
- How to find the best electrician for your needs?
- Things you shouldn’t do without an electrician?
Gas Safety Checks.
It is your duty as a landlord to provide your renters with a welcoming and safe household to live in. You need to make sure pipes and appliances that use gas in the house are safe and up to standards. You should call for a gas engineer to check the property annually, and to make sure to get a record of all checks done.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
This is rather simple, but nevertheless crucial.
You must check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms at least twice a year. We recommend checking those each and every time you adjust your clocks due to daylight savings. The battery needs changing every year, unless you’ve bought the so called “ten year alarms”. (After ten years, you should buy a new one.)
If you install battery-operated alarms, you could write it into the tenancy agreement that they have to undergo check and change of batteries at least twice a year. This is something to consider if you’re renting multiple properties out.
While we’re on the subject of fire: is your furniture fire safe? If it’s made after 1988 you should be fine. If in doubt, there should be a label you can check, though it will be stitched somewhere out of sight.
Locks and security.
According to a research conducted by the UK Police Foundation, there is a direct correlation between properties inhabited by tenants and those privately owned. Although carried in two cities alone, the researchers found out that crime has a focus on renters and rentals. Due to the bigger flow of people moving in and out, burglars can abuse the same weakness over and over again – a window easy to reach, a back door, basement and etc.
- More than 400,000 burglaries are reported throughout the UK per year, with numbers growing during the winter season
- Privately rented homes are less protected because many renters have lived there before you.
- It is the responsibility of the landlord to take proper actions and ensure the safety of his property and renters.
- The London Locksmiths recommend you to change all locks upon moving in. If you don’t want any deposit deductions, simply save the original locks and re-install those after a professional end of tenancy cleaning is done with and you’re ready to move out.
- It’s a great idea to buy your own alarm, motion detectors, motion-triggered lighting fixtures, and etc.
Health and Safety.
Your tenants could request a health and safety inspection. If the council find something wrong with your house, you could be fined or the worst case scenario is you, and your tenants, can no longer use the property.
You need to think of anything that could go wrong and how to fix it. In other words, write yourself a risk assessment. Are there problems you can sort out before people move in? This could be anything from uneven flooring to loose wiring. Make sure to get it fixed and avoid trouble later.
Don’t Allow Pets.
Even if you are an animal lover and don’t mind pets, by not allowing them on your property you will prevent damages. Any pet can do some damage to furniture, to walls, to curtains or even appliances, or just make the entire property smell bad, not to mention where fleas can live in the house.
Of course, there are people whose pets won’t do damages and who will clean regularly and not cause any problems, but you can never know who these people are. That’s why making a general rule of not allowing pets will save you a lot of troubles.
Know Your Tenants.
If possible, screen your tenants thoroughly before signing a lease. Do they have a job? Are they a university student? Will they be able to pay rent on time? Ask your potential tenants a number of key questions to determine whether the tenant will be troublesome or not.
Take Pre-Tenancy Photos.
Make sure you take a picture of everything in your property. Furniture, windows, doors, bathroom, kitchen, appliances, etc.
“It will help you remember what the property looked like before the tenant moved in and in case there’s a dispute or breach of lease, the photos might help you win the dispute.” advise the experts at Move Inn Estates (UK).
This way you will be able to track down if any changes were made to the property without your knowledge.
To prevent such issues, you may hire a pest controller to inspect the property and find weak spots where pests such as cockroaches, rodents or anything else can enter the property and cause disturbance to your tenants. For more specific issues such as bird control or chimney surveys and sweeping, specialised companies such as SweepSmart.co.uk that can offer a wide range of specialised jobs to help you maintain a rental property.
Also, add a clause to the tenancy agreement about who shall be responsible in case of a pest infestation. Many landlords in the UK struggle with these issues because they cannot decide who should take care of the problem.
Find a Reliable Handyman.
There will be a great need for repairs over the years, that’s for sure. You will do best if you find someone who can help with a variety of odd jobs and you know you can call in time of need.
All tenants will be reaching out to you for help. You should always be prepared in case something is wrong with an appliance, piece of furniture or anything else.
Thank you for sharing, Handyman tips team!