Even though a lease agreement has been signed, the property still remains the landlord’s responsibility. If a utility bill is not paid during the period of tenancy, the landlord will ultimately be required to settle the outstanding balance. It is essential for landlords to be aware of what is happening with their rental property and ensure that all payments are up-to-date. Certain measures can be taken to minimise the risk posed by a defaulting tenant, such as prepaid electricity and water meters, for example. If this is not an option, a deposit for these accounts can be agreed upon beforehand.
The importance of home inspections:
Although landlords should always remain respectful of their tenant’s right to privacy, it is advisable that home inspections are conducted on a regular basis. The home inspection must be conducted at the tenant’s convenience and any issues that are a breach to the agreement should be dealt with as soon as possible. If problems are left, they will cost a lot more to rectify further down the line. For example, if a late or non-payment is not addressed immediately, within a short space of time the tenant could be a few months behind and incurring further utility costs. Aside from the escalating costs, legal action may need to be taken in order to get the tenant removed from the property, which will also be a costly and time-consuming exercise.
Professional rental management agents:
If you are willing to part ways with a percentage of your rental income, then hiring a professional rental agent is a good option for landlords who don’t have the time to manage their rental portfolio. Appointing a reputable rental management agent with the necessary expertise and resources can help ensure that your rental property is managed in the correct manner. A professional management agent will assist the landlord with tenant selection, reference and credit checks along with the day-to-day management of the property. They will also be up-to-date with the latest legal and regulatory developments to protect landlords and tenants. Rental agents will have procedures and systems in place to professionally avoid any potential problems and deal with any disputes that may arise. If necessary, they will also have access to the legal resources and experience to deal with any situation efficiently.
Many unnecessary and unpleasant situations can be avoided if the correct steps are taken when placing your home on the rental market. Taking the right measures from day one can be the difference between a landlord in trouble and one whose buy-to-let portfolio is producing a regular income and growing in capital value.