How to ensure your rental properties stay occupied for longer
Within your property investment portfolio, there will always be an element of tenants coming and going over the weeks, months and years that you own the property. Whether you own just one property or a whole portfolio of assets, this is inevitable at one point or another.
Leaving a property empty for too long can invite all kinds of issues which causes unnecessary stress for the landlord. It is vital to ensure you have as little voids as possible within your rental investment properties.
One way to do this is negotiate longer tenancy agreements with your tenants either directly or through your chosen letting agency. Having a contract or 24 months rather than 6 months means less admin and more security.
It is important to remain proactive and reach out to your tenants a few months before their agreement is due for renewal and discuss options with them as early as possible.
While you might not lose money while your property is not being rented due to lack of rent, you will have a variety of other costs to consider:
Remarketing the property
Other associated costs and fees, such carrying out new inventory checks and drawing up tenancy agreements
In order to avoid the above, you have to be a good landlord. It seems like a no-brainer but if you look after your tenants and the property, they are more likely to want to stay and will in turn (hopefully) look after your property as well.
Doing all you can to make them feel happy and comfortable will work in your favour. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, where people live is very important and special to them. If you can enhance that experience for them in any way, there is no reason not to.
A mistake that is often made by Landlords is being greedy. Increasing the rent on a regular basis will likely put your tenants off and out price them from the house so it is too expensive for them to continue staying in your property.
You must research the going rate for your road and postcode and be sure to stay in line with those prices, else tenants will look elsewhere.
If you are using a letting agent, make sure you spend time picking the right one for you. A letting agent should be professional and reliable and enable you to rent out your investment property securely to a suitable tenant, as well as helping you achieve the best possible rent.
With so many large property letting agent chains popping up across the UK to match the demand in rental properties, there is a lot of choice out their for investment landlords.
It is easy to get swept up with offers and cheap deals but this can often end in disaster with the wrong tenant not being property vetted and ending up living within your investment property.
Property management companies are responsible for the communication, upkeep and general maintenance of the property. Neglecting to give attention to these factors will quickly result in an unhappy tenant, so it’s important that you can rely on your property management company to be on top of these important aspects. Reliability is key.
Here are some of our top tips to help you chose the right property letting agent for you
Registered to professional organisations – Ideally your property letting agent should be a member of a professional organisation such as ARLA Propertymark, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
Member of a Property Redress Scheme – This is something that is mandatory, required by law and non-negotiable. They should display their scheme logo on their website and communications and you can check the redress scheme website member catalogue to check they are being honest.
Transparency – All property letting agents should be clear and transparent about all of their fees upfront so you understand exactly what you are paying for and when. There should be no hidden fees and no money should be taken from you without your permission or knowledge.
Recommendation – Always consider a property letting agent who has been recommended to you. Do not just pick the cheapest option. There is such a large number of property letting agents to chose from now all across the UK and competition is fierce. It would always be advisable to consider a property letting agent who has been around for sometime, comes recommended and has build a reliable name for themselves and their business.
Location – It may seem obvious but make sure you are using an agent who is in the same town or city as your investment property. If they are not local, they will not know the area well or what rent you should be achieving or the type of tenants you would be looking to rent out your investment property.
Client Money Protection – Property Letting agents will always handle deposits, rents and maintenance monies. Landlords and tenants need to be certain that the money is safe and that no-one can disappear with it. A reputable and professional letting agency will be able to demonstrate that it belongs to a Client Money Protection scheme. As a general rule, all landlord and tenant money should be held in a Client Account, separate from the letting agent’s general bank account. You are well within your rights to ask them if this exists.
Paperwork and Referencing – Property letting agents will manage all the paperwork for you including all tenancy agreements. These should be reviewed with you and you are allowed to edit them if you wish as you are the owner and landlord of the investment property. Property Tenants come in all shapes and sizes. The property letting agent must carry out credit checks on new tenants, referencing, confirm they have the right to reside and work in the UK and much more. This is all to ensure you have an appropriate in your property and that.