So, you know the basics of managing rental properties. You’ve spoken to all the right people and took on all the advice to help you understand the basics involved to help you get through it. But wouldn’t it be better to manage a rental property successfully rather than just getting by? Here at Cavendish Peaks, understanding the basics is just the beginning. We believe managing rental properties can only be done one way, and that is the right way. This month I’m going to give you the top 10 tips for successfully managing rental properties, so grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let me talk you through it step by step.
Where to begin, well, let’s start from the top.
Tip 1 – Secure yourself a property and get it in good nick
I know it seems obvious! But sometimes, we can get ideas into our heads without first covering the basics. Find yourself the right property, and be sure you can have any work that needs doing completed. Remember, this property will be rented out, so securing it and getting it in good repair is critical and will save you a lot of time and effort in the future, trust me.
Tip 2 – What are your expectations?
You’ve got the property, the work has been completed, so what are your expectations? Before your property is listed, it is essential to set up your rental costs. Our home property management team is on hand to help you with this. Rental fees need to be carefully researched and calculated. There is no point taking the cost of the mortgage and some bills and then adding 20% (this is how some residential and home property management companies reach a figure). Instead, a more accurate and fair price can be achieved through research and asking the right questions.
What is the average income in the area? Although this seems irrelevant, it is a crucial factor that needs to be taken into account. Your property sits within an area, so it is vital to keep it realistic and consider the surroundings.
What is the average rental price? Again this is another valuable piece of information for managing rental properties as it will help you come up with a baseline price rather than just picking numbers from the sky. Rightmove and Zoopla can be a great help in finding the most up-to-date average rental prices.
What is the size of an average family in the area? I can hear you saying it. “Why does that matter”? Well, it’s simple. Considering the size of an average family gives an insight into what kind of area the property is based. These statistics can then be used when advertising and provide some much-needed information to potential renters.
What makes the area unique? Be sure to list all the qualities of the area. Does it boast beautiful views? Are there train and bus lines allowing for an easy commute? Does the property offer off-road parking? What is special about the local bars, restaurants, and attractions? These questions will enable you to charge extra, so they are worth taking the time to research.
Tip 3 – What do you want from a tenant?
The simple answer to this question would be a reliable and trustworthy individual, but when we look into this question a little deeper, there are many different answers. Remember, it is illegal to discriminate against tenants, but you will have a better chance of finding the perfect individual(s) if you consider these few simple characteristics. Our home property management team is specially trained in ensuring only the most relevant and legal questions are asked.
Set a minimum income cap – This should be based on repayment costs and the costs of living.
Employment requirements – Do you prefer your tenets to be employed to ensure payment security?
Credit checks – This is not an unacceptable request. Credit checks have to be done to secure a mortgage and most things today so asking a tenant to complete a credit check is not unreasonable if you prefer to have that extra bit of guarantee.
How do you feel about smokers? – The best property management companies are a definitive no on smokers, so this is entirely your choice but remember the number of smokers in the UK is declining, with only around 14% smoking today. In my opinion, saying no is always the best option. It reduces the risk of discolouration to decor, prevents your property from smelling of smoke, and, most importantly, ensures the safety of your property and its tenets.
Have they rented a property before? If not, this does not mean they are not suitable tenants. It could simply mean they have chosen you as their first residency. If they have rented properties before, many residential property management companies will ask for references from previous landlords.
Tip 4 – Advertising
Now that everything is in order, we can begin advertising! We will post your property anywhere that is suitable. The more exposure, the better. Some sites may charge for you to advertise, but it will be worth it in the long run. As they say, you have to spend money to make money. Advertisements can be posted online, in newspapers, and on social media. The possibilities today are endless.
Tip 5 – What makes them a good tenant?
Now, this can be a tricky one. How do you know this individual will be a good tenant when you don’t know them at all? There are several things that you can and cannot ask today when interviewing potential tenants. Luckily our home property management team has the knowledge and experience to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. As a company, we believe in some cases, a rental questionnaire is the best start. All the questions are pre-written and can help to avoid deterring from the right question. Questions to avoid involve; race, personal information, disabilities, and family size, as these questions could cause a great deal of offense. However, questions about employment status, references, any requirements they may have, and any former landlords are entirely acceptable when asked correctly.
Tip 6 – The contracts
We will ensure you have a contract that is fair, legally binding, and up to date. Your contract will include all terms and conditions, costs and payment dates, details on maintenance and eviction process if the worst should happen. Although it is possible to write this agreement up yourself, I highly recommend hiring one of our professionals to do this for you to ensure any details are not missed. We can provide this service within a package tailored to you. Once an appropriate contract has been drawn up, this can then be reviewed with your tenant.
Tip 7 – Keep in touch
So that’s it there in! But that doesn’t mean we should just leave it there. Visiting the property a couple of times a year (being sure to give plenty of notice in writing) can be beneficial to both the home property management company and the tenant. Our visit will allow them to discuss any maintenance that needs completing, repairs, faults, and generally just allowing for a catch-up and express any concerns they may have from the tenant’s side. From our side, we can check the state of the property, ensure all aspects of the property are being taken care of, no damages have been incurred, the tenant is not subletting (this is a lot more common than you would think), and your tenant is just genuinely happy and content all on your behalf.
Tip 8 – Collecting rent
Nobody likes to chase anyone for payments, so ensuring we have a correct and secure rent transfer system is crucial. This can be done in many ways, including standing orders and cheques, but whichever you choose is entirely up to you. If the cost of rent needs to be raised, we will be sure to give your tenant plenty of notice in writing. Enforcing a late payment fee can be highly beneficial. Although it sounds harsh, it provides the incentive not to allow rent to go unpaid for any period of time. This is your business, after all. We will ensure the late fee policy is clearly stated within the contract from the very beginning.
Tip 9 – Eviction
This word sends shivers down everyone’s spine, including mine. But unfortunately, these things happen. As much as an individual dosnt want to be evicted, in some instances, this is the only solution, but that dosnt make it any easier for the landlord. Being familiar with local laws on eviction is hugely beneficial and will prevent you from running into any complications. We will ensure we give official notice and the eviction is filed through the court as this will prevent you from running into any problems. Do not accept any payment while the eviction is being processed. Taking payment could cause issues for the whole process, and be sure not to break any rules.
Tip 10 – Finding the best property management companies
So that brings us to tip number 10. What do you need to look for when choosing a residential property management company? You need someone reliable, enforceable, and yet is easy to approach and communicate with. They must take on the responsibilities, the burdens and be genuinely passionate about what they do. They must have the best connections in the industry that will save you time and money while maintaining positive and good relationships with vendors at all times.
Managing rental properties can be highly stressful and time-consuming. You must be on hand 24 hours a day to handle any issues that may arise. Cavendish Peaks ensure we are on the same page as our clients, from everything to tenant selection criteria to handling any matters and issues. With a vast amount of experience under our belts, we know what is needed to manage rental properties and manage rental properties successfully, making us one of the best property management companies to date. Get in touch today today on 0114 437 2473.