Landlords Top 10 Mistakes – no3

27 03 2010

Mistake number 2 – Not Planning Ahead

Once you have a tenant it is all to easy to be complacent, especially if you have other properties to worry about, or if you just have a full-time job to concentrate on.

But a lack of forward planning can lead to vacancies, which of course means a void period. First of all planning helps to keep tenants happy of course, they don’t like to be inconvenienced at the last-minute when you forget a gas certificate is needed…

But moreover, planning for the end of the contract period is incredibly important. If your tenancy period is up and your tenants leave before you’ve had time to think about getting new tenants then you are losing rent money in the meantime.

This is where it helps to have a good relationship with tenants. Tenants who like you (or whoever manages your property) are far more likely to communicate with you, and be honest if they are thinking of leaving for a bigger house, or a different area.

It is always helpful to ask, but not to put pressure on the tenants (as this can actually push them away, which we don’t want either)

And if you know that you have a vacancy coming up, it is always sensible to start marketing your property in advance. A good letting agent will probably have a good idea of any tenants looking for property within the next month or two and should be able to advise on this.

Of course it also helps if you have all of your paperwork ready in advance and have the property ready for viewings ahead of time.

Again, and this once again goes back to mistake no1. Keeping your tenants happy will also mean they are far more likely to cooperate and even help when you are looking for new tenants. They are obliged of course to let people view the property, but you have to give 24 hours written notice if they want you to. And they certainly have no obligation to tidy up before hand.

Void periods are unavoidable, but they can certainly be minimized, and planning ahead will help to achieve this. Take into account mistakes 1 and 2 and this will help you to avoid making mistake no 3.

Coming soon, mistake number 4 and dealing with first impressions. Plus more legal Q&A…

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