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Ending up in a dispute at the end of a tenancy is one of the least inviting prospects of being a landlord, and thankfully most tenancies end perfectly amicably. But when they do end in disagreement, many landlords manage to lose their claim, leading them to feel that the system is weighted against them.
The most important thing in a deposit dispute is for the outcome to reflect the reality, whether the fault is on the landlord or tenant side. The courts and arbitration services are not there to automatically find in favour of the tenant, but it is the landlord's responsibility to prove a claim is valid and realistic.
So, in this week's article, we're taking a look at why landlords – and particularly self-managing ones – lose so many disputes: from whether their claims are fair in the first place, to how they can improve the way they create and run their tenancies.
Meanwhile let's see where things go wrong for landlords, how the outcomes can be different, and how many situations can be avoided altogether.
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BUILD A PORTFOLIO OF POPULAR & PROFITABLE LETTINGS
Do you think it’s impossible to be popular AND profitable as a landlord? Perhaps you feel that one cancels out the other; that it’s a choice between hard-nosed business and being nice, but that the two are fundamentally incompatible?
You wouldn’t be alone in your view, but it’s perfectly possible to have a successful rental portfolio that’s a commercial success while being on excellent terms with your tenants. Questioning how your rental properties could be popular can help you increase your returns by owning a collection of in-demand homes where people really want to live.
Growing your rental portfolio can provide you with a secure financial future and provide many people with a wonderful home. Whether you are an experienced landlord looking to expand your portfolio, or you are looking for your first buy-to-let investment, this week’s blog is for you.
Meanwhile, read on to discover how you can build a profitable and popular portfolio to enhance your life, and be a hit with your tenants.
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PROS OR CONS: IS A MANAGING AGENT WORTH YOUR MONEY?
It takes a certain character to be a managing agent: the job has a reputation as a thankless task with days full of complaints, emergencies, breakdowns and hassle. And if we’re honest, rarely does anyone call with news that everything’s just fine.
But to be a managing agent is also to be the person who makes everything right. A property that never needs maintaining, or where nothing ever goes wrong, simply doesn't exist and emergencies rarely happen at a convenient moment: not for homeowners, not for tenants and certainly not for landlords. For a managing agent, they’re an expected part of the day.
Whether you’re an existing or budding landlord, you’re right to keep an eye on your outgoings. You might even have questioned whether a managing agent is really worth the expense. But do you include the personal costs as well? How much do you value your time and how you spend it?
This week’s blog is not to convince you to use a managing agent, but to show you how life could be if you did. From inspections, maintenance and easier accounting, to keeping you on the right side of the law and protecting you in the event of disputes, here are five one-minute morsels of how we look after our landlords, and what we could do for you.
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LET’S GET ORGANISED: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR LANDLORDS
From giving up smoking, to a change of diet, to getting in some exercise, now is the time of year when all sorts of new year’s resolutions are being made and declared. Health and fitness are the usual areas we concentrate on, but there are also things to consider in terms of your wellbeing as a landlord.
January always brings about a desire or search for change, so now is the perfect time to examine whether the way you operate as a landlord is entirely good for you. There’s a lot to manage, a lot to remember and a lot to stay on top of, even with just one property (let alone a larger portfolio).
We speak to more and more landlords who find it quite a task to keep abreast of the ever-increasing legislation while also keeping to their regular responsibilities of looking after their rental property and tenants. But we also meet landlords who are doing more than they need to, leaving them less time for enjoying life.
So for the start of 2021, here are five new year’s resolutions to make your life as a landlord easier, more organised and more fun.
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NO VACANCY: KEEPING YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY OCCUPIED
They say that death and taxes are the only two certainties of life. Well, if you're a landlord, you might be feeling that empty weeks at your rental property are an inevitable third.
Vacant days are money lost for landlords, and we meet plenty who feel both entirely powerless and resigned to losing valuable rental income. Aside from the financial cost, if voids become a regular occurrence they can cast a lingering cloud over your tenancies, with the back of your mind never completely free: will your tenant give notice at the earliest opportunity; will you find new ones for a seamless changeover; will you need to carry out repairs or maintenance before new people can move in?
But are void periods entirely down to chance and luck? And is there really no way to influence the number of days your property remains empty? Even though it might be unwise to expect 100% occupation over the lifetime of your rental property, there are undoubtedly actions you can take to reduce the risk of void periods, and even the occasional opportunity to use them to your advantage.
So this week's article focuses on how to keep your rental property occupied in the long term so that voids don't become a regular nuisance.