When deciding to rent out your property, you need to make sure it’s in safe hands and that the property is returned to you at the end of the lease period in an acceptable condition.
Finding the right tenants for your property can be a tiresome job so we’ve come up with some tips to make the process as easy as possible. You will also want to ensure that all the utility bills and services are paid up by previous tenants and in place for your new tenants. MyHome provides some tips and advice on connecting, disconnecting or reconnecting utility and home communication services.
- Check out the history of potential tenants and make sure you get references. You should request a reference from a previous landlord or employer if applicable. If your tenants are students, you could get them to get a reference from their college or university.
- Make sure you get everything in writing. The terms of the tenancy agreement should be clearly spelt out in a lease. It’s important to point out that a lease is not only of benefit to the landlord but also protects the tenant.
- The lease should clearly state the procedure for payment of rent, which is responsible for utility bills, such as electricity, phone, gas, refuse disposal etc.
Download the MyHome Standard Lease Agreement
- Make it clear which responsibilities are the tenants territory and which are the landlords. Both parties should stand by these. If there are any problems that are the landlord’s responsibility, the landlord should ensure that these are resolved as soon as possible. It’s often a good idea to give a tenant a list of tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, locksmiths etc.), that they can contact should a problem arise. Billing for these is usually the landlord’s responsibility but there may be situations where the tenant will foot the bill.
- The landlord should ensure that the property is insured against structural damage. It usually falls to the tenant to insure the contents.
- If you have an estate agent or property manager looking after the property, you should make it clear from the beginning where responsibilities lie. You don’t want to be paying someone to look after the letting and then get phone calls in the middle of the night about a noisy party going on or a lost key.
- Make sure that you look after the property. A well presented and maintained property is more likely to instill a sense of pride in the property for the tenant.
- Try to resolve any disputes with tenants without interference of solicitors.