Sleepless nights: what issues landlords most worry about (and how to solve them)
All investments carry risk. Whatever you put your money into, there will be things to worry about. If you buy shares on the stock exchange, you may have the certificate itself in your possession (though, increasingly, you won’t), but the management of the companies concerned have it in their power (and it’s even worse when they don’t have it in their power) to run the business successfully or drive it into the ground. A work of art can look great hanging on your wall, but now you worry about someone breaking in to steal it. Great wine collection? Multiple risks there: a failure in temperature control or poor storage can turn the wine to vinegar.
The buy to let investor also has sources of angst. Here are some of them:
What if the tenant doesn’t pay?
For some landlords, this is a real concern. There are some tenants who might fail to pay the rent on time or are simply unreliable. But the majority of tenants expect to pay everything that they should and, if they fail to do so, there’s usually a very good reason. If a tenant doesn’t pay, and he or she has managed to enter into a new tenancy despite having a record which demonstrates their unreliability, then who is failing to carry out the most basic checks on this tenant? This is why credit and reference checks are so vital.
If fear of non-paying tenants is something that keeps you awake at night, take a look at our letting agent services. Good tenants have a record that shows that is what they are. Rely on us to find them.
What if they damage the property?
When letting agents get together, one subject that always comes up is the ‘tenant from hell’. They do exist unfortunately. As with non-payers, there are far fewer of them than you may fear – and, as with non-payers, there is an excellent way to make sure that you don’t fall victim: use a good letting agent.
We might tell you that we can spot a tenant from hell at twenty paces but we don’t rely on intuition. The best indicator of how someone will act in the future is how they acted in the past – so we are scrupulous and painstaking in our examination of past performance. We also understand our responsibility to make regular visits, just to check up. It’s usually a red flag if the tenant is making a lot of excuses as to why they don’t want a visit from the letting agent.
What if they make off with my furniture or white goods? Or disappear leaving their belongings here? Or introduce a pet when no pet should be there?
And here we come to the nub of the matter. If you’re a landlord, there are all kinds of things that can keep you awake at night. And that’s why letting agents exist. We don’t lie awake worrying about things that might happen – we do everything our experience tells us to do to make sure they don’t happen and, when they do, we fix it.