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Most common reasons tenants call for help

When self-managing a property, tenants will be coming directly to their landlord when something goes wrong, so it’s good to be prepared for the eventual calls that will roll in. Here we catalogue the most likely ones you’ll receive and what you should do. "Help, I’ve been locked out" We say Pass. Tenants being locked out is not something a landlord has any responsibility for unless a... Read more

Firefighter

Guest Post: New home safety scheme launched, supported by local fire services

Blue Watch, a new home safety scheme set up by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and supported by UK fire and rescue services has launched, following new research revealing that landlords aren’t doing as much as they could to keep their tenants and properties safe from fire and carbon monoxide (CO). The research, conducted among 1,500 landlords and 1,600 renters across the UK,... Read more

Checklist

Top ten things to do before your tenants move in

Have you… 1. Made sure your gas safety certificate is to hand? Why? It is a legal requirement for landlords to have an up-to-date Gas Safety record for tenants to inspect. It must show that all gas appliances in the building have been serviced regularly, usually once a year and by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Find out more about Upad’s gas safety certificate service. 2. Lodged your... Read more

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How not to annoy your tenants

It’s a fact of life – landlords sometimes annoy tenants and, of course, vice versa too despite both sides’ best efforts to get on. So here are some of the areas of contention that can sour relationships. Sudden arrivals Don’t turn up at the door unannounced as tenants have a right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of their home; you must give 24 hours written notice before going in. Not... Read more

worried-woman-on-the-phone

Questions to ask tenants on the phone

Quizzing prospective tenants about their past tenancies or life can, at best, be awkward; you’re keen to sign them up but on the other hand you don’t want a tenant from hell moving in. Here’s some questions to ask yourself as you talk. How many times have they rented? If they’ve had multiple landlords over a relatively short period then this could flag up a problem tenant – as they... Read more

2013

Guest Post: Tenant Evictions Up 50%…

UK private rented sector landlords are getting used to hearing the phrase “severe rent arrears” as it is bandied about readily in the national press and on television news, as they report the continuing misery of financially struggling tenants who are falling behind with rental payments and face eviction by landlords. Critics may suggest that landlords and their appointed agents are just... Read more

loft-catalogue

Guest Post: Present Your Property To Catch A Keeper

With Nationwide Building Society launching a mortgage specifically for landlords signing 3 year contracts with their tenants, landlords are edging one step closer to the Holy Grail of longer term tenancies and guarding against the void. Ben Hall MD of LOFT Interiors (www.loft-interiors. co.uk) - shares his views on how landlords must adjust their approach to property maintenance, presentation... Read more

Books

How to become a local expert

When a landlord is showing tenants around a place it’s imperative to know the local market like the back of your hand. Impress on tenants both the benefits of living in the property and the local area. This includes why it’s in the best location, offered at the most competitive price and represents best value for money. Here we list some of the background information you will need to have... Read more

Queuing for a viewing

Insider techniques to turn a viewing into a tenancy

The most vital thirty minutes of the property marketing process is when prospective tenants are touring a property, yet many landlords leave this opportunity to nail down a tenant to luck. That may be a good idea when tenants are falling over themselves to rent anything they can, but few places attract such interest. On average, as recent research shows, it takes between four and six viewings... Read more

Credit Report

Tenants from hell – what referencing reveals

The number of people looking to rent has been increasing in recent years so much so private renters currently outnumber social ones – for the first time since the 1960s. But a greater volume of renters brings with it more problem tenants, therefore an increased need for referencing, before a landlord gives prospective tenants the keys to his or her property. The question is - what sort... Read more

Money

How to calculate the ideal ‘letting price point’ for a property

There is no shortage of rental market information to help landlords. The trouble is it’s mostly national or at best regional, but what really matters is knowing the ideal ‘price point’ at which a property will let. Getting it wrong can be costly and expensive; it’s not unusual to find properties that have spent months on the market and one apartment in Oxford we’re aware of started... Read more

Photographer

Property photos you shouldn’t take

There are easy-to-fix image errors that put people off renting your property. Research shows that on average prospective tenants look at 100 properties online whittling it down to a dozen before viewings begin. Photography plays a vital role in this – a property might possess the ideal location, number of rooms and décor but often poor photography then puts people off. So here are the... Read more

Indecisive Tenant

Know your market: when is the best time to rent out a property?

It’s a question that many landlords may consider regularly and many would agree the summer months are the busiest – which is reflected usually each year in rising average rents during these months as demand outstrips supply. But unlike property sales the rental market is more fluid, unpredictable and swayed by local factors. So how to judge if - and when - your local market is at its... Read more

loft-catalogue

Guest Post: dress your property to avoid the void

Did you know that for 38% of tenants, a well dressed property is the number 1 must-have when it comes to choosing a new rental home? And those tenants who don’t count it as the most important factor put it second only behind location, explains Ben Hall, managing director of LOFT Interiors - the property management furnishings specialists. "Take advantage of low interest rates and the high... Read more

Girl with Binoculars

How to spot a buy-to-let hotspot

Are you considering making your next buy-to-let investment? Then chances are you’ll be hunting down a property that’s as cheap as possible but has the potential to generate a high rent and achieve an attractive gross yield, something some say only ‘neighbourhoods on the up’ are likely to offer. But how do you spot potential postcode ‘goldmines’? Transport ‘tentacles’ In cities... Read more