Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Don't Let Your Tenant's Problem Become Your Problem!

If you take my view that "Good Tenants like Good Properties" a Landlord can do a lot to minimise the most common problems likely to be suffered throughout a tenancy by getting it right at the start - by offering a decent property likely to attract a decent tenant and doing thorough referencing to ensure they can afford it and have no nasty skeletons in the closet before signing them up!

Unfortunately, even the best tenants circumstances can change - unfortunately for Landlords, it tends to happen at the most inconvenient time midway through a tenancy!

All Landlords should realise that there is a very real chance that at some point during their Landlord 'career' there are going to be occasions when a tenant simply fails to pay...assuming you have a decent tenant it's more likely to be due to a sudden change in their financial circumstances rather than simply refusing to pay but either way it can have a massive impact on a Landlord's finances

If there is a mortgage on the property and the rent is relied upon to part or fully fund the necessary loan repayments this can create big problems, create massive levels of stress and could ultimately lead to the Landlord losing the property!

I regularly advise Landlords that there's a few simple steps they can take to make the process as stress free and painless as possible - essentially to protect themselves so the tenants problem doesn't become their problem;

  • Don't keep your your mortgage coming out on the 27th if the rent is due on the 25th - this especially applies to Landlords who may have lived in the property before letting it - when you used to pay when you lived there is pretty much irrelevant, move the date according to the Rent Due Date and always make sure there is a buffer of at least a week (ideally 2 weeks) so that you can cope with short term tenant cashflow issues, delays due to Bank Holidays etc
  • Always have the equivalent of 2 months rent in your account - this will cushion you from any shocks should the tenant be unable to pay on time (most late payment issues are short term blips and are resolved within a month) and also will give you a slush fund to dip into should there be maintenance issues
  • Take out 'Rent & Legal' insurance - there are many policies on the market but most will cover rent arrears for a fixed period, upto a set amount like £50,0000 or until possession is regained, and they will also take care of any legal expenses - the better ones will even undertake the legal action to recover monies owed and regain possession on the Landlords behalf - all for what comes down to little more than a tenner a month for a decent policy like the one we offer from Endsleigh
Landlords and investors tend to become obsessed with maximising Yields or avoiding Voids but they would be wise to also ensure that they protect themselves using one or more of the suggestions above to ensure that should their tenants suffer unforseen problems it doesn't become their problem!

For a chat about any aspects of being a Landlord in Sunderland please give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email neil.whitfield@belvoirlettings.com

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