Landlord Problems & How To Solve Them | Part 2

In Part 1 of this Blog we looked at the rental marketplace from a landlords perspective and listed a number of concerns, which could have a severe, unwelcome impact on the property and or, financial yield.

These concerns are commonplace to professional landlords and to the majority of our reluctant landlords (homeowners renting out their own home for a short period) as in both cases the rent received is the income from what is essentially an SME business.

The monthly rent (income) must be set against expenditure (mortgage & insurance payments/improvement costs/management costs) with everything to be arranged in the most tax efficient way possible to show a worthwhile annual yield/profit.

Long term capital appreciation of the assets of the SME i.e. the resale value of the property/properties, is usually not the first consideration, the monthly rent received is. A reliable/predictable monthly income is a prime requirement.

Here are several more of the fears expressed to us, especially by novice landlords.

Do I want them as Tenants?

Let’s address again the single, biggest concern of all landlords “who are the people applying to rent my property ?” as well as instructing HomeLet to do the formal vetting we ask a lot of questions of the the prospective tenants, below is a small selection;

Why are you moving? We look for legitimate reasons such as starting new job or the Landlord is selling up. We are uncomfortable with applicants who have fallen out with housemates or the neighbours.

When do you plan on moving in? We are cautious if the applicant wants to move in “ the next day “and require a legitimate reason.

What is your monthly income? We need to know that they can afford the rent along with utility bills, insurance, council tax and water rates.

Will you have the security deposit and first month of rent available upon move in? If not, they are wasting our time.

Will it be okay for me to come and visit you in your current property? This gives us an idea of how they might treat your property.

Can you provide references from your employer and former landlord? If they can’t, then this might be a red flag.

Are you employed or on a contract or in any kind of probation period? We need a tenant in stable employment. People in probation can lose their job after 3 months.

Do you have any on-line profiles we could check out? Social media might throw up some insights into their lifestyle and also confirm their employment (via LinkedIn etc).

Have you ever been evicted? They may not admit any, but we can judge their reaction to the question.

Do You Have Any Pets? We will need to make a decision on whether to take the pet or not.

Are you a Smoker? Our tenancy agreement does not allow smoking inside the property.

How would you describe your lifestyle? Do you work shift patterns, stay up late at night, play a loud musical instrument? Answers to these questions will help you ensure that the property is suited to the tenant.

Can we take a copy of your passport? It is most important to check their identity in line with new ‘Right to Rent’ checks.

Do you have a rental guarantor? This is always helpful to have

Are you planning on staying long term? Find out if they are planning on putting down some roots as this may lead to longer tenancies and fewer void periods

Do you have any questions? We encourage good communication from day one.

In addition to the HomeLet report we rely on our experience & instincts  – and in all modesty would say that almost without fail we put really good tenants into our clients properties. This is our promise to our landlords.  

Further queries

The tenant has gone – but left some possessions in the property

We would never advise a landlord to leave the tenants possessions outside of the property as if they were stolen they could be liable. This is why our first class photo inventory is essential.

We would write to the tenant giving them a week’s notice during which they must collect their possessions. We would give them a selection of possible dates and make it clear that if they do not collect their possessions, then the Landlord can dispose of them.

If they do not pick up their possessions, then we can with the landlords instruction dispose of them without further communication.

The tenant is reluctant to grant access for maintenance/repairs. (or to have a Gas Safety certificate done.)
Tenants have the right of “quiet enjoyment” and there is no absolute right of access for a gas safety certificate or anything else.

Prevention:
We always try and foster positive relationships and communication with our landlords tenants and explain clearly to them why we  need access to the property. We have to give 24 hours’ notice in writing and keep a record that we have attempted to gain access.

Cure:
Access for safety checks and repairs is almost never a problem  – it is after all for their own benefit. The HSE states that it will not prosecute any landlord who does not have a gas safety certificate who can show that their agent has made at least three attempts to gain access for a check and been refused.

In actual fact having the engineer go to the door to see if he can get in works well and the tenants allow them in on the day. In the worst case it would be necessary to go to court to seek an injunction for access or to seek to end the tenancy for breach of contract.

A new/additional tenant wants to join an existing tenancy.
Whatever we do we are in fact, legally speaking, creating a new tenancy. We will therefore fully credit check and reference any new tenant and issue a new tenancy with all names listed.

Our message is simple. Renting out your property is a business.

You understand that Buying the right property – in terms of its price, size, condition, location, rentability, estimated monthly rent, estimated capital growth over time is critical – and so do we. 

You will also understand that renting to honest, reliable and well qualified tenants is also very important and that it is vital to maximise your rent and minimise any “void periods” and comply with all the regulations in respect to letting property, and so do we. 

You also understand that Finance, a Buy To Let Mortgage, book keeping as per income verses expenditure and efficient tax planning  is again very important, and so do we.

Myrings understand every part of the rental business, and we want to be your partner.

If you would like to discuss the lettings marketplace in Harrogate then please come along and see Richard Chapman and the Lettings team and enjoy a free no obligation chat about the services we provide. 

We are here to help  – and will be pleased to be of service. 

Please go to www.myringsestateagents.com to see all our properties available to rent.

Telephone us for Lettings / Rentals at 01423 569007 or email us on richard@myringsestateagents.com  or lettings@myringsestateagents.com).

Charles

About Charles

This blog follows the residential Sales and Lettings market in Harrogate, Knaresborough and surrounding villages.You will find information, analysis and guidance here along with news about Harrogate. I’m Charles Myring working in the Myrings Estate Agents Ltd business alongside my son Simon , daughter Gemma and dedicated sales teams. If you're thinking of Selling / Buying / Letting / Renting property locally Myrings would be happy to assist.