In this three-minute read, we look at ways, landlords can reduce the risk of tenancy disputes now, and when lockdown ends.
There’s plenty of talk in the news about the possibility of the lockdown being eased across some industries. The rental property and letting agents lobby are pushing hard for a return to business in what will be the ‘new normal.’
Living and working through the worst health crisis the World has seen in a century has been a challenge for all of us, especially landlords, and tenants. And the levels of stress we’re all experiencing can lead to disputes between landlords and tenants if they are not skilfully managed.
At Athelstans we’re experienced in ensuring our landlords’ and tenants’ experiences are positive ones. Below are four ways to help landlords reduce the risk of disputes.
Start as you mean to continue:
The best way to avoid disputes during or at the end of a tenancy is to do everything by the book right from the very start. This means keeping a detailed inventory and having a written tenancy agreement. Not only will all this come in handy should there be a dispute later down the line, but it also sets the tone for the relationship. A letting agent managing your property can really help to get things off to a smooth start.
Regular Property Inspections:
Even if a tenant comes across as reliable and trustworthy, never assume they are treating your property with care. Through regular inspections, small problems can be picked up and addressed before they become big headaches. You can’t skip this essential element of the process. If you haven’t got the will or the skill to carry them out for yourself, then you need someone with industry experience like a letting agent to do it for you.
If a tenant is moving out, a detailed check-out inspection must be done on the day. This may sound obvious, but if you’re in a rush and the property looks fine at first glance, it might be tempting to skip this process. Don’t.
If you discover a big problem a few days after the check-out inspection, let’s say a massive burn in the carpet conveniently hidden under a rug for example - you will struggle to include this late claim in any dispute. Again, letting agents can do these check-outs properly for you. An experienced letting agent will have conducted hundreds of final inspections, so there’s no pulling the wool over their eyes.
Respectfully remember your responsibilities:
As a landlord, you must follow the law and keep a property in good working order. By treating tenants with respect more often than not, you’ll be rewarded with the responsible use of your property. But you also need to remember your legal responsibilities.
Never cut corners and don’t assume some laws don’t apply to you. Local authorities are getting more and more assertive on property issues, and tenants know their rights – and how to exercise them.
Dealing with people, paperwork and legislation can be time-consuming and stressful. If you can’t or don’t wish to do it, a good letting agent can make all the difference.
We hope that helps. The situation around lockdown and what it means to the rental property market is fast-moving and likely to change this week when the Government outline their plans for the UK to get back to a new normal. The good news is we’re on top of it, so our landlords don’t have to worry about it.
If you are a landlord who has any questions or issues you need support with, we’re here to help.
Thanks for reading. Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, and Save Lives. We’ll get through this together.