Unfortunately, it is a misconception to believe that all your tenants will be perfect.
There are two types of tenants: -
One will send you money every month for six years and you’ll never hear from them.
The other will pay late, then stop paying at all, and eventually vanish leaving your house needing thousands of pounds in repairs.
Here is a bit of advice to avoid attracting the 'tenant from hell!'
Comprehensive Tenant Check
To avoid a tenant from hell make sure you vet them properly and get an up to date credit report. You will also need to check their current employment status and salary. You don’t want to be placing a tenant into a property on a 12 month contract when they only have 6 months left on their work contract.
Speak to their previous as well as current landlord. If they have been a bad tenant their current landlord may say anything to get rid of them.
Your tenancy agreement needs to be thorough and cover all stipulations and how you wish the tenant to look after the property.
This does not meant you should start adding unfair and crazy clauses. But make sure it is professionally written. A Letting Agent will be able to help you with an up to date agreement.
Take a Deposit
Always take a deposit. The last thing you want is the property not to cover any damages or non payment of rent.
A home is usually someone’s most valuable asset, and that goes for rental properties too. However landlords can still be reluctant to have a professional inventory done.
At Perren Property we advise that every let property has a professional inventory at the start of the tenancy, as well as at the end.
A professional inventory at the start is essential and protects both the tenant and the landlord where damage and responsibility is concerned. An inventory is a condition report of the fabric of the property as well as its contents all noted before a tenant moves in.
‘But my property has nothing in it!’ I hear you say! This is where you are wrong.
A report is carried out from the state of the ceilings, walls and floor coverings to furniture and any white goods supplied is documented.
Having an independent third party undertake the checks make sure there is no bias towards the tenant, the landlord and us as agents. The use of a professional and impartial company is vital should there be a problem at the end of the tenancy and when returning the security deposit. Everything will be accurately documented and verified leaving less stress at the end of the tenancy when problems occur.
Landlord insurance can go a long way in assisting financially when tenants fall into arrears or when a tenant leaves a property in a state at the end of the tenancy.
If you have a mortgage on the property it will be a condition to have insurance. You will need to make sure you have the correct insurance for your needs. The cheapest options are not always the best option when it comes to claiming.
Record and keep every property inspection, record any late payments and record all maintenance. If you ever need to remove a tenant form the property having a record may be key to a decisions and gaining possession.
How to Evict Tenants
Your tenancy agreement should stipulate the notice period that you are able to give the tenants to vacate. If the tenants remain in the property after the end of the notice period you will then need to apply to the court for a possession order.
If a possession order is granted but your tenants still remain in the property then you can apply for an eviction warrant from the county court and the courts will arrange bailiffs.
You might have chosen what you thought was a great tenant and still have problems. So make sure you keep up to date and compliant as possible. Should this situation arise and your tenant stops paying rent stay calm and professional. Lettings agents often offer a service where they will deal with the management of any rent and rent arrears on your behalf.
If there are any questions you have about your tenants then feel free to contact a member of the team on 01306 880 442 and we will be happy to help.