Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Be approachable: Make sure that your tenants can contact you by phone or by e-mail if it is more convenient, should they need to. Responding to requests promptly will help tenants to feel listened to and supported.

Give advance notice: As the property owner, you may feel you should be able to visit regularly to ensure all is in order. Bear in mind, however, that while it is your house, it’s your tenants’ home, and it’s not sensible to enter the property without their permission for any reason. The law states that you should give the tenant reasonable notice (which is deemed as at least 24 hours) should you need to view the property.

Be fair: It is only natural that items should break through wear and tear. If this happens, consider whether the item was old and needed replacing anyway. If so, it might be your responsibility to replace said item, not the tenant. Equally, it’s important to convey to the tenant what breakages they will be liable for in the tenancy agreement, with costs if possible.

Property Maintenance: Make sure that you fulfill your duty to tenants by fixing problems as soon as they happen. Communication is important here. If your tenants feel they cannot come to you with a problem or breakage, they may try to fix the problem themselves and make it worse, or leave an issue for a long time, which could compound the problem.

The importance of proper insurance: You do not need to have specific landlord insurance, but it is definitely worth considering, as there are a host of benefits. Some companies offer Legal Expenses Cover that gives you financial reassurance should a dispute with tenants lead to legal action, as well as cover for any malicious damage or vandalism by tenants. It’s also worth looking at providers who offer optional rent guarantee cover that protects you in the event that your tenant fails to pay their rent. This could also give you the peace of mind needed to take a tenant who perhaps appears less ideal – financially speaking – in the first instance.

EPC: Every property has to be let with an Energy Performance Certificate. EPCs also include an estimate of the size of the property, which can be useful when comparing properties. As a landlord, ideally you want a property with a high rating or one that is easy to increase the energy efficiency. If you have a good EPC rating (within A to C), this should appeal to prospective tenants as it means lower heating bills. New builds should have an A rating and the worst properties will be those with no loft insulation, double glazing or cavity walls.

You can organise your EPC by choosing an energy assessor from epcregister.com or your letting agent should be able to do this for you. Property management companies like assured properties have included this under landlord services. When buying, check that you can use the EPC from the vendor.