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ACCIDENTAL LANDLORD? ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE IT A SUCCESS
Not everyone sets out to be a landlord, and becoming an accidental one is more common than you might think.
An accidental landlord is someone who becomes a landlord by circumstance rather than by plan, and it can happen for several reasons. You could be relocating for work, moving in with your partner, or having trouble finding a buyer for your current home. Or you might have inherited a property.
Being a landlord can provide you with an unexpected passive income stream, but there’s a lot to know before you get started. Lettings legislation is complex, forever changing and comes with plenty of responsibility, so it pays to be informed to make your transition from property owner to landlord as smooth as possible.
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LETTING AGENTS: HOW TO PICK THE BEST ONE
Whether you've been a landlord for years or you're just starting out, finding a letting agent you can trust and build a long-lasting relationship with is a big deal.
Renting out your property is about so much more than just money and business. As well as wanting an agent who can find you the perfect tenant, you're sure to have feelings around confidence, connection and communication. None of these are financial concerns, but our experience tells us how prized they are by all of our landlord clients.
Letting agents will be competing for your business left, right, and centre, so how do you begin the selection process? Having a list of standards is a good place to start, and these five factors will help you narrow down the field and choose the best letting agent for you.
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RENTAL UPGRADES: FIVE IMPROVEMENTS TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME
The rental market has grown up. Tenancies are running for longer, and with stays of four or more years increasingly common, tenants have higher expectations around the place they're willing to call home.
This spells good news for landlords because those higher expectations come with a willingness to pay a higher rent. More than that, the right improvements will also increase the value of your property, giving you precious equity to finance and expand your portfolio.
But which improvements make the most difference?
There's a fine balance to strike between spending too little, spending too much, and spending where it counts. The key is to create a contemporary and timeless home that's durable and popular to give you wide and long-lasting appeal with minimal maintenance and repairs.
But for now, let's take a look at the improvements that will increase your income, attract high quality tenants and protect the value of your property.
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RENT ARREARS: FINDING A BALANCE BETWEEN COMPASSION AND COLLECTION
Although rent arrears have been a hot topic during the pandemic, it’s far from being a new subject. That said, if the discussion has taught us anything in the last year, it’s that anyone can be affected by economic events: no-one is immune, however high their income.
Most tenancies run their course without arrears building up, but that means landlords and tenants have little experience to draw on when payments fall behind. Regardless of how and why they happen, arrears can be a source of friction and provoke all sorts of feelings and emotions around the possible repercussions.
For a self-managing landlord, it's vital to keep a level head when discussing arrears with your tenants. That might be challenging when their financial circumstances impact your own, but it's essential to avoid communication breaking down.
Money can be a touchy subject, but as you'll discover in this week's article, there are many ways to keep the conversation going without sinking into acrimony or legal proceedings.
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PROOF POSITIVE: 5 SIMPLE SECRETS TO MAKE YOUR INVENTORY WATERTIGHT
Not every inventory ends up providing the protection that landlords expect. There are plenty of cases where the language used – and the style adopted – have caused more confusion and doubt over disputes, which for a landlord will generally mean a reduced or refused claim.
Inventories are essential to have complete clarity over the condition and contents of your rental property: without correct preparation, you'll not only risk a costly dispute, but you'll also sow the seeds of worry in your tenants. The more documentation you have that you can agree on from the outset, the more professional you'll look as a landlord and the more comfortable your tenants will feel.
Whether you're preparing a paper or digital inventory, you must ensure it’s signed off by you (or your managing agent) and your tenants. But as you'll discover below, there's more to it than that.
Meanwhile, let's take a look at how you can make your inventory the best it can be to give you, your property and your tenants maximum protection.