With the stamp duty holiday and other favourable market conditions since the UK emerged from its first lockdown, more investors are becoming landlords for the first time. New landlords are also using mortgages to fund their property purchases more often than in previous years, suggesting that many will be intent on maximising their investment for the best returns, especially with their first few tenants.
As property inspection professionals, InventoryBase understands the needs and expectations of both landlords and tenants. For this reason, we have put together a guide on 6 essential property management tips that cover the legal requirements and courtesies that will help new landlords protect their properties while also fostering a good relationship between owner and tenant.
Ensure you cover all the necessary certifications and checks
The required checks landlords must complete before they can rent a property include gas, water, electric, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. This includes the electrical inspection condition report (EICR) which has been a mandatory check since last June that landlords must carry out every five years.
Carry out a property inventory
A full property inspection will avoid problems during the tenancy, as well as at the end. If new tenants have a detailed report that is professionally completed, it will be easier for them to understand the condition of the property when they move in and how they will be expected to return it once the lease has ended.
Right to rent checks
It is essential that prospective landlords understand their obligation to confirm their tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. If tenants are in the UK on a short-term basis, these checks will need to be carried out regularly to ensure their right to be in the UK has not expired. The responsibility is on the landlord to carry out these checks rather than on the tenant to provide this information.
Maintain ongoing safety checks
Throughout the tenancy, safety checks on utilities will ensure compliance and protect your tenant as well as your investment. Some safety inspections, like gas appliance checks will need to be completed once every year, while others, like the EICR expire after several years. Conducting routine checks, even before the required timeframe, is a good way of ensuring your property is well taken care of and the living environment for your tenants is the best it can be.
Regular inspections throughout the tenancy
Regular checks will ensure compliance on the end of the landlord while also identifying issues caused by the tenants’ use of the property. Interim inspections can be carried out by inventory professionals or through self-service checks completed by tenants. By guiding tenants through these checks without requiring professionals to enter their homes, landlords may be able to maintain a trusting and strong relationship with their tenants that will encourage them to care for their property throughout the life of their tenancy.
Keep detailed reports on every property
For landlords with a large portfolio, detailed, organised reports will maximise investment security, protect deposits and avoid disputes at all points during tenancies. Historic reports will also help you keep an eye on risks and maintain a schedule of safety inspections and other reviews so that your properties are always compliant and safe to be lived in.
First-time property management that works for tenants and landlords
The buy-to-let sector is still hugely popular but, with the uncertainty of the pandemic and with many landlords going without rent thanks to tenants who’ve lost their jobs or are on furlough, it can be a daunting prospect to be investing in property for the first time.
By following these six tips and ensuring that a solid relationship is built with tenants early in the lease, landlords can encourage tenants to care for their home, helping maximise their investment in a simple and organised way.
This article was written by Damon Culbert from InventoryBase, property inventory software for landlords and property managers.