Should you Put your Rent up?
Rental income is important for a landlord, but it is also important for a tenant. As a landlord, you need to consider the whole picture before deciding if it would be the best move to put your rent up.
You need to be an expert in the local area when you own property. Keep abreast of all developments – know the standard of properties in your area, how much they are selling for and how much they are renting for. If you can, speak to other landlords so you can get to know the general climate.
If you feel that your rent is below the average for the area, then you may well consider putting up the monthly rental price. Before you do so, think about your tenants. If you are looking for new tenants, then try putting prices up to see if your property goes. If you have existing tenants, consider them as well – if they are good tenants, it may be worth putting your prices up less to keep them.
Getting Quotes for Property Repairs
If you need to get repairs on a property that you own or manage, it is usually advisable to collect together a few different quotes so that you can see what is the going rate. This will give you an understanding of the market, and what you can expect to get for your money. If you are a property management agency, you might not have the time, however, if you are a property management company that manages blocks, it might actually be in your contract that you should collect different quotes so that the work you are providing on behalf of residents is value for money.
You should have a list of trusted traders, who you use on a regular basis. Once you have someone you trust, add them to the list – productive working relationships like this are beneficial to everyone involved. If you need anything urgently or at the last minute, these people will be more likely to be able to help and respond quickly.
How to Choose a Buy to Let Property
A buy to let property is a great investment for lots of people. If you can afford to buy a flat or a house to rent, you will want to make sure you can make the most income from it you possibly can. Here are some things to think about when choosing your property:
- Capacity. If you buy a house of multiple occupancies, such as a student house, you can make more money from it.
- Type of property. Flats will usually be sold on a leasehold basis, so you won’t be the freeholder. Make sure you understand the terms of the lease fully.
- Service charges. If you buy a flat, there will be service charges that you pay to the management company. These will cover the maintenance of the building.
- Fire safety. Make sure you choose a building that is well looked after so you won’t have to put in too many fire alarms or fire doors.
How to Make Sure your Tenants are Happy
As a landlord, finding good tenants is the most important thing you can do. If you find tenants who pay their rent on time, do not quibble about the bills and look after your property with respect, you need to try your best to hold on to these tenants. Make sure they are happy to avoid them choosing to move elsewhere.
The main thing to do is to ensure the property is in really good condition. Make sure everything is in good working order and has been properly maintained. If the tenants report any maintenance issues to you, get them dealt with as quickly as possible. This is especially important if it is something like a broken boiler or a leak, as it could endanger the tenants and cause further damage to the property.
Carry out regular inspections and try to talk to the tenants. This will allow you to fix any issues and to find out how you can keep your tenants happy.
What are Building Service Charges?
Service charges are usually paid by the leaseholder of a flat. They are payments that are made to the freeholder, or the person who owns the building. This money could go directly to the freeholder, or it may go to the property agent that is used by the freeholder. If the building has a residents’ association who also own the land and building, service charges will go to them.
The service charges paid by flat owners (or indeed house owners, if the plot of land is leasehold) are used to maintain the building and carry out any repairs. These could include window cleaning, gardening, cleaning of corridors, maintenance of building entry systems etc. It will also include the day to day running costs of the building, such as central heating.
Service charges will usually be enough to cover repairs and maintenance, though sometimes a bigger job like a roof replacement may cost more.