Want your rental property to run like clockwork? Try these top time-saving tips from the experts at Belvoir…
A clean start
“Before a property is even marketed to let, and certainly before prospective tenants are shown around, it’s important that the property is clean, tidy and ‘move in ready’,” says owner of Belvoir Portsmouth Samantha Bateman.
“It’s surprising how many landlords allow tenants to view poorly presented properties with the promise of rectifying issues before the tenancy starts. Delaying work that will inevitably need to be done anyway doesn’t save any time and simply elongates the length it’ll take to attract a good tenant.”
“Finding the right tenant for your property has long-lasting time-saving results,” says Samantha. “A good tenant will pay on time without being chased, alert you to any maintenance issues as they arise and communicate their intentions regards exiting the property so you can swiftly find a replacement.
“To help find a good tenant communicate with them before you commit and always make sure you carry out the necessary reference and credit checks.”
A warm welcome
“Save time for you and your tenant by putting together a ‘Welcome Pack’ or a set of ‘Handy Guidelines’ before they move into your property,” advises Samantha. “This should contain key contact numbers, information about the utilities and appliances, plus any other useful information they may need to know about the property.
“A pack such as this will answer many of their questions and reduce the frequency of phone calls to you with easily answered queries. Usefully, it can be passed on to future tenants too!”
Don’t delay, fix today!
“Keeping on top of repairs and nipping maintenance issues in the bud as soon as they arise can certainly save time,” says owner of Belvoir Evesham Melanie Carter. “In fact, little issues can grow into large ones at speed.
“A loose roof tile, for example, is simple to fix when first spotted but, if left, could lead to leaks and staining with the potential of necessary redecoration. Likewise, a loose fence panel can be fixed with ease, but failure to promptly secure it could result in the whole fence blowing down.
“In order to assess maintenance issues as they arise and troubleshoot them before they become more time-consuming, regular inspections of the property are vital.”
“Good organisation and admin management is vital for anyone who is short on time,” says Samantha. “Create your own filing system so that key documents are easily accessible: include the tenancy agreement, gas safety certificate, insurance policy, details of payments received from the tenant and other written communication, the inventory, receipts for maintenance work and items bought, plus any other related paperwork. If you have a portfolio of properties, create a separate itemised file for each.
“Having a reliable storage solution in place for paperwork will mean you can access important documents with ease and you’ll never have to order replacements for mislaid copies.”
“Re-letting a property costs money and time so if you’ve got a good tenant in situ retaining them is a great saver all-round,” says Melanie.
“Having a long-term tenant at your property will help reduce time spent on re-marketing the property, carrying out viewings, arranging tenancy agreements, compiling inventories and doing the necessary credit checks and referencing, plus you won’t have to spend time building a relationship with someone new. In addition, retaining current tenants also helps prevent the potential for lengthy periods of void.”
In the bank
Be savvy with your banking…
“Encouraging your tenant to set up a standing order to pay their rent is a great idea,” says Melanie. “A direct payment to you by standing order will reduce the need to chase the tenant each month and you’ll know very quickly if a transaction isn’t made or if there are any issues.
Samantha adds, “Setting up online banking is a fantastic time-saver too. You can conveniently check whether a tenant has paid the rent without heading to your local branch or waiting for your monthly statements, plus you can pay any contractors with ease and at speed.”
“Always make sure your tenant is aware of what they should do in an emergency,” says Samantha. “When an emergency situation arises one of the most important ways to minimise damage is a speedy reaction time.
“Does your tenant know what to do if there is a fire? Who should they ring if there is a flood? How should they react if they suspect there is an intruder in the property? Make sure they know the answers well before the questions ever need to be asked in order to save that all-important time.”
Cut time, not corners!
“It’s a false economy to try and save time by cutting corners,” says Samantha. “Whether it be maintenance work, setting up filing systems or even communicating with your tenant, doing something efficiently the first time is always going to be more time-effective than having to do it again a second. Always aim to do it right… not twice!”
Beat the clock
“One of the easiest ways to save time is to instruct the services of a good letting agent to do all the hard work for you,” says Melanie. “They will be able to manage each aspect of the tenancy, including finding a tenant, chasing and collecting rent, sorting out rent arrears, troubleshooting maintenance issues, commissioning contractors, carrying out regular inspections, serving the necessary notices, organising gas safety certificates and, very importantly, keeping you up to date with new legislation and making sure your property is compliant.
“In fact, a good letting agent will help save you time in a multitude of ways and their services can be an ideal solution for any ‘time-poor’ landlord who’s looking to beat the clock…”
Be ‘clock-wise’! – at-a-glance…
- Don’t let maintenance issues escalate
- Be proactive and know your long-term plans, plus your tenant’s too
- Credit check and reference tenants before committing
- Retain good tenants if you can
- Online banking can speed up the process of checking rent has been paid
- Cut time, not corners
- Build good relationships and communicate
- Create a ‘welcome pack’ for new tenants to answer any questions they may have
- Do it right… not twice!
- Organise your admin and keep important documents handy
- Instructing a letting agent to manage the property for you will help save time on almost every aspect, from finding a tenant to carrying out the inspections
Article Courtesy of: Belvoir