Renting can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you.
There are lots of accidental landlords who end up renting out their properties for a number of reasons. These landlords are often unprepared for the compliance issues when renting out there homes and the time and energy it takes to manage a property. In most cases landlords wont know what the best approaches are to selecting the right tenants, how to manage the tenancy and how to offset any expenses.
1. Referencing candidates can be the difference
The most important factor in having a stress free management property is the referencing of potential tenants, get this wrong and agents and landlords could be dealing with tons of headaches.
In Ireland we tend to check out tenant’s employment references, previous landlord references and in some cases a bank reference. A copy of the tenant’s Identification in the form of Passport or Drivers license is kept on file.
In order to register the tenancy with the PRTB all agents must get the tenant’s PPS number to complete the application unless the tenant is currently waiting to receive it from the Department of Social pretection
Check List when referencing
2. Digital Inventory reports can save you thousands
The digital inventory report is a picture and condition inventory report on a property highlighting all contents and the condition of the property with photographs.
Most agents will produce an inventory which will consist of a written inventory report which is an outdated and time consuming way of documenting the contents of a property whereas a digital inventory is conducted by the agent with a smartphone app.
The app allows the agent to simply dictate the contents and condition of the property and also take photographs.
The voice recording is then transcribed and a PDF inventory along with photographs is then produced.
The inventory report is then emailed to Landlord and Tenant where comments can be added and photographs uploaded by the tenant if they notice a discrepancy in the report.
3. Setting expectations from the start
Give an inch and they will take a mile applies to renting properties in my opinion.
A landlord who gives into requests at an early stage can be seen to be a soft touch by some tenants who will use this stick to beat the landlord throughout the tenancy.
I have seen it all to often when meeting tenants who you know from the offset that they will want a whole new property often demanding the replacement of beds, painting of walls, installing dishwashers and providing TV’s.
Now I am not saying common sense shouldn’t prevail if the basic needs of renting aren’t met but setting your tenants expectations from the start will surely let them know that your not an easy ride.
Get agreement off the tenant before accepting the holding deposit that the property is let in the condition it is in.
Once a tenant puts down the deposit they are agreeing to lease the property in its current state and no alterations will be done unless the basic needs of renting are not met.
4. Effective Rent Management is key
The most important aspect of managing a property is effectively managing the rental payments.
Some agents like to manage the rents on the first of each month, meaning they only have a couple of days of reconciling their accounts.
Other agents will manage the rents from the start date of the lease. At Swipe Property, we believe the best time to collect the rental payments is the first of the month as the majority of tenants are paid monthly at either the end or start of each month.
This reduces the likelihood of late rental payments or missed rents altogether!
A missed rent payment can impact greatly on the letting income because the process of recouping missed rents involves issuing a 14 day rent arrears notice followed by a 28 day eviction notice.
The tenant also has the right to appeal these notices which would mean an even bigger delay to receiving any future rental income.
5. How often should a landlord do Inspections
Property inspections are conducted usually quarterly by agents from the date of the lease start date.
I think it is imperative that tenants receive the schedule of inspections on the property from the offset. If we set expectations in the tenants mind that this property will be inspected in 3 months time I can guarantee that most tenants will keep it clean and in good condition.
Most landlords who look after there own property never inspect the property during its lease and wonder why they get back a rental in poor condition.
Our software application alerts us to inspections due on our managed properties and funnels them into our task manager and google calendar.
When we inspect a property we produce an inspection report which is shared online to our landlords keeping our promise to manage properties effectively. This helps keep the property in pristine condition in the event of an early departure by tenants or when the lease ends so we can turnaround the property quicker.
6. Why Communication is vitally important
Communicating with tenants can be a cumbersome process and it is important that you as a landlord setup an effective way to communicate with your tenant at the beginning.
Make sure you have all your tenants email and phone numbers stored just in case a phone number is changed or a tenant leaves your property mid lease.
Also make sure your tenants have an effective way to communicate with you during the lease.
If you are a non resident landlord managing your property from abroad then let your tenants know this from the start and give them an effective channel to communicate with you. Managing a portfolio of rental properties has it challenges and a phone may not be the best way to deal with multiple tenants.
7. Dealing with repairs
The most common issues arising from disputes within a property center around property repairs or replacing furniture.
By using an agent to manage a rental property a landlord keeps a barrier between themselves and the tenants meaning decisions can be easier to make as there is no relationship built up between the landlord and tenant.
The most common problems in my experience are usually plumbing especially if there is gas or oil heating in the house.
Landlords need to factor in potential repairs or replacing of boilers, showers, pumps and repairing the same throughout the rental life cycle.
Written in our lease agreements is a 24 hour response to all repair queries meaning we can have a decision and repair man on site within 24 hours or earlier depending on the urgency.
8. Managing end of year accounts
You get the call from your accountant who is looking for details from you for your income tax return usually due in October. Your accountant will give you a list of things which you can claim as expenses against your rental property.
For more information on the Allowable expenses check out rentalincome.ie
Swipe Property is an independent Lettings and Management Agency specialising in both long and short term lettings in Dublin. Please comment or get in touch