Anyone who has worked within the lettings industry will understand the importance of a thorough inventory for rental properties.
And when landlords skip this vital step, major issues can occur. If you’re left facing serious damage at the end of a tenancy without the proper reports, you may lose out on thousands of pounds.
We explore the power of inventories by highlighting a recent high-profile case featuring a former pop star and £70,000 worth of damage.
Do I Need An Inventory?
Without a detailed inventory, you could be left having to repair damage out of your own pocket. We’ve created a simple guide on the key components to include and why they’re necessary;
Property Management Inventory Checklist
An inventory report must include the following key components;
- A record of meter readings and keys provided
- The condition and cleanliness of each room, including appliances, fixtures and fittings
- A record of the condition of the garden, including any damage
- A signature from the tenant confirming they agree with the contents of the report
- A record of the condition of the mattresses if fully furnished
- Date & time stamped photos of the property and its contents
It must also include essential safety points;
- A record of furniture and furnishing fire safety labels
- Evidence that the Smoke and CO alarms comply with legislation (working order & correct placement)
- A record of loose or frayed carpets, cracked glass or windows, missing keys and inoperable locks
Check Out Report
In addition to the initial inventory report and schedule of condition that takes place when a tenant moves into a rental property, you will also need a check out report when they move out at the end of the tenancy.
Following the final inspection, the check out report should;
- Include a detailed record of the condition of the property
- Clearly show how the property has changed throughout the tenancy (in combination with the initial check in report)
- Include recommended actions for landlords and tenants
This report provides a vital benchmark to help assess any changes to the property from the start of the tenancy to the end.
If any deposit disputes arise, these reports should provide clear evidence to help landlords get a fair return on any losses or repairs required.
Top Reasons for Tenancy Deposit Disputes
Some of the main reason’s disputes occur include;
- Cleaning 54%
- Damage 49%
- Decoration 31%
- Rent 20%
- Gardening 16%
Dealing with Deposit Disputes
The security deposit taken at the start of a tenancy is considered the tenant’s money. This means that it can be tricky for landlords to withhold the deposit in response to damage or loss without significant evidence.
You will need to prove there is damage to your rental property above normal wear and tear in order to claim on the deposit.
That’s why poorly compiled inventory reports are one of the most common reasons landlords lose disputes.
Tip: Always enter the deposit into a tenancy deposit protection scheme as this is a legally required step!
Celebrity Rental Drama: The Power of Inventories
To demonstrate our point, we’ve got a high profile case study in which a property rental disaster was averted thanks to comprehensive inventory reports.
Former En-Dubz star and X Factor Judge, Tulisa Contostavlos was recently ordered to pay over £70,000 worth in damage to the landlord of her former luxury rental property.
Reported damage to the luxury North London flat included a smashed sink, cigarette burns, stains and doors ripped from hinges. Despite arguing that the damage was normal wear and tear, she was ordered to pay compensation, interest and legal costs to her former landlord.
Key to this case was the presence of a thorough and professional inventory and check-out report.
Clearly, a high rental value is no protection against severe damage, so no matter which end of the market you’re positioned in, covering your back is essential if you want to recover your costs.
Looking for help managing your portfolio of rental properties in London? Find a list of our No Letting Go London offices.
What is Fair Wear and Tear?
It can be problematic working out what is considered fair wear and tear as it differs case by case. Some examples of fair wear and tear include;
- Small scuff marks on walls
- Naturally worn down carpets
- Frayed fabrics
- Faded curtains
- Carpet indentations
However, when we talk about damage this could include;
- Broken locks or doors
- Burn marks or large carpet stains
- Holes in the walls
- Broken windows or furniture
- Poorly painted walls
One of the easiest ways to determine the difference is by commissioning a professional inventory clerk to visit the property and make a detailed report, including photographic imagery at the start of the tenancy.
How To Protect Your Rental Property from Damage
There are a few more steps you can take to protect your rental property;
Regular Property Inspections
Target Long Term Tenants
In addition, targeting long-term tenants who are more likely to treat the property as their home will help to avoid intentional damage.
Keep it Simple
Keep decoration simple and ensure your property is thoroughly clean at the start of the tenancy to avoid any future disputes.
Avoid the Risks with A Professional Inventory Service
You’ve heard the warning, now it’s time to cover your back. One of the easiest ways to protect your investment as a landlord or letting agent is to commission a professional inventory company to undertake comprehensive inventory reports and checks.
Our independent inventory clerks across the country are experienced at providing essential reports, checks and visits to help you stay protected from move in date up until the end of the tenancy agreement.
To find out how we could help, browse our list of professional property inventory services to get started.
Subletting is surprisingly common and can offer benefits for both landlords and tenants. But what counts as subletting? And what do landlords need to know about the risks?
We explore what subletting is and what you can do as a landlord to mitigate the risks.
What is Considered Subletting?
Subletting is when a tenant decides to rent out either a room or whole property to a third party. For example, if a tenant decides to go travelling for an extended period, they might try to let their room out to another tenant to pay their rent. Other reasons could include;
- Change in income
- If they need to relocate before the end of a contract
- If another tenant decides to move out before the end of the tenancy and they need to fill the space
To be a sublet, the original, existing tenant needs to give exclusive access of at least one area of the property to the subtenant. The subtenant will not pay rent directly to the landlord but to the original tenant.
Is Subletting Illegal?
In most cases, subletting is legal if the tenant obtains the landlords permission to let out the rental property.
However, if the tenant sublets without written permission, they could come into legal difficulties.
Can A Landlord Refuse A Sublet?
This all depends on what it says in the tenancy agreement. If there is a section in the agreement that says a tenant can ask the landlord to sublet, landlords will need to have a valid reason for refusal.
However, if there is no mention of subletting in the tenancy agreement, as a landlord, you can refuse more easily.
It’s worth noting that in the case of fixed term tenancies, the tenant may still be able to sublet without consent if there is no mention in the agreement. That’s why it’s important to be clear on the terms of your agreement from the get-go.
Not keen on the idea of allowing a tenant to sublet? There are a few steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t happen;
- Include a section in the tenancy agreement prohibiting subletting
- Arrange regular property inspections to help prevent unwanted subletting. The professional carrying out the inspection will usually be able to tell if something is awry. It will also indicate to your tenants that you aren’t complacent as a landlord.
- Try to develop strong relationships with your tenants so they come to you first if they are having any difficulties making the rent.
If a tenant decides to go ahead and sublet without permission, there are two main circumstances that most commonly occur;
The tenant rents out a room in the property whilst still living at the address.
This is the most common situation, and often happens when flatmates move out unexpectedly.
In this situation, think carefully about how you want to proceed. If the new subtenant has caused no issues and the rent is paid on time, it can sometimes be advantageous to allow them to continue living at the property. If this is the case, draw up an agreement to stay protected. Don’t accept any payment until you have a proper tenancy agreement in place.
The tenant rents out several or all the rooms in the rental property whilst living at a different address.
This could have serious consequences for you as the landlord. If these subletting tenants report issues to the original tenant who they assume is the landlord, property maintenance issues may go unresolved and you start to lose control of your property.
What Happens If Your Tenant Sublets Without Permission?
If you discover your tenant is subletting without your permission, there are a few steps you can take;
- Talk to your original tenant first to find a solution
- If the tenant persists subletting, sub-tenants should be informed, and either be asked to vacate the property or draw up a new tenancy agreement for them
- If all else fails and the subtenant refuses to vacate, you may need to begin the eviction process
What Are The Risks Of Subletting?
If a tenant decides to sublet their room, there are a number of risks you need to be aware of;
Insurance and Mortgage
Some insurance and mortgage providers don’t allow subletting and ignoring this could lead to voiding your contract. It’s vital you avoid this at all costs by checking your agreement before allowing a sublet.
End of The Tenancy
If your original tenant decides to move out, but their subtenant is still living in your rental property, you may come up against issues. Evicting a tenant without a tenancy agreement can get complicated.
How Do You Sublet Safely? Tips for Landlords
Subletting doesn’t always spell disaster. In fact, it can be profitable for both landlord and tenant, solving common issues such as change of circumstance.
If you do decide to grant your tenant permission to sublet, here’s a few steps you can take to ensure your investment stays protected;
- Ensure you are clear on the contents of the tenancy agreement and what it says about subletting. If there is no mention, you may want to add a clause to be on the safe side.
- Spend time on tenant referencing to ensure you end up with reliable, trustworthy tenants.
- Spend time getting to know your tenants and making a good impression. This way, they are more likely to come to you first if their circumstances change.
- Carry out regular property inspections.
Protect Your Investment with No Letting Go
If you need a helping hand protecting your investment, we have teams of experienced inventory clerks across the country ready to support you.
We can provide regular property visits, every 3-4 months to ensure your property is being well maintained and tenants are fulfilling their contractual obligations.
In addition, a comprehensive inventory report is one of the best ways to protect your investment in the long term.
Interested in hearing more? Get in touch or visit our services page to find our property inventory packages.
As a landlord, you’ll understand the importance of finding reliable tenants that pay the rent on time. One way to secure this is through comprehensive tenant reference checks. But what happens if a potential tenant fails their credit check?
Renting to tenants with bad credit doesn’t necessarily spell disaster. If the tenant ticks all the right boxes, there are ways to get around this issue and protect yourself and your investment.
What Is A Tenant Reference Check?
A tenant reference check helps landlords and letting agents decide if a tenant is likely to be reliable and pay each month’s rent on time.
In addition to a credit check, tenant referencing can look for;
- Proof of identity
- Proof of employment
- Current salary
- Bank statements
- Proof of benefit claims
- Right to rent in the UK
- A previous landlord reference
What Is A Credit Check?
A credit check looks at the tenant’s credit report and financial history, spotting any times they have missed bill payments or have fallen into arrears. This is analysed to produce an individual credit score.
A credit score can range from around 0- 900 points, depending on the score system used. A good credit score could be anything above 750 points.
What’s The Minimum Credit Score A Landlord Should Accept For A Tenant?
An acceptable credit score will be dependent on the scoring system used, as they differ between referencing agencies. However, when a tenant’s credit score comes back as poor or very poor, you may want to think about asking some further questions.
What Causes A Bad Credit Scoring?
A poor credit score can be caused by a number of issues, some more concerning than others when it comes to potential tenants.
Here are a few of the more serious reasons for a poor credit rating;
Naturally, being in debt can negatively affect a tenant’s credit score as it suggests that they struggle to manage their money and are not financially stable. If this issue is uncovered by a credit check, you may think twice about entering into a tenancy agreement.
Being Declared Bankrupt
This should set major alarm bells ringing for landlords as it suggests the tenant has had difficulty managing repayments in the past.
County Court Judgements
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is when a tenant is forced to repay a debt by the courts. If this shows up, it’s not a great first impression.
Late Credit Card Or Loan Repayments
If a tenant has struggled to pay credit card repayments in time, this doesn’t bode well for rent payments.
There are also a number of issues that can affect credit scores that don’t necessarily mean a tenant will struggle with their finances;
Not Having A Credit History
One reason for a poor credit rating that is particularly common among younger tenants and students is not having a credit history at all. If the tenant has never taken out a credit card or loan and has never paid bills from their bank account, they won’t have a credit trail to check, resulting in a low score.
This is a likely occurrence if you rent to students or young adults who have just left home and doesn’t necessarily mean that the tenant will be bad at managing their money.
Only Making The Minimum Credit Card Repayments
Credit scores can be affected if the tenant only makes the minimum repayment on their credit card each month. The assumption is that they are struggling to keep up with all their outgoings, however this isn’t always the case.
Not Being On the Electoral Roll
Not updating addresses and personal information can affect credit score, as can not being on the electoral roll. This step is easily forgotten when moving house and doesn’t prove the tenant will be unreliable.
No Proof Of Address
If a tenant hasn’t been responsible for paying bills at their previous residence or were not named on the tenancy agreement, it can be difficult for the referencing agency to determine proof of address.
How Important Is Good Credit?
As we explored above, good credit isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to finding a good tenant. Equally as important is whether they fit your target tenant profile.
If you’ve been struggling to rent out your property or think the tenant will make a good fit, there are ways to get around bad credit.
How To Rent to Tenants With Bad Credit
Poor credit rating alone doesn’t mean you should give up on a tenant if they tick all the other boxes. Here are some ways to minimise risk;
The first thing to do when a potential tenant’s credit check comes back as poor, is to find out why. If it was down to late or missed payments it may be best to steer clear, however if it’s something as simple as a lack of credit history then it needn’t stop you from going ahead with the tenancy.
Ask To See Previous Rent Payments
Seeing proof of regular, timely rent payments for a previous rental arrangement will help to ease your concerns about their responsibility as a tenant.
Charge a Larger Deposit
If a tenant has a low credit score, it’s likely they will be prepared to pay a slightly larger security deposit to make up for it. This will give you extra leverage when it comes to recovering costs at the end of the tenancy.
Ask For A Guarantor
One of the best ways to protect yourself if a tenant has poor credit is to ask for a guarantor. A guarantor will be able to cover any costs if the tenant is unable to pay, giving you extra protection.
The guarantor will need to sign the tenancy agreement along with the tenant and have secure financial status.
Ask For A Previous Landlord Reference
One sure way to find out if a tenant is reliable is to ask their previous landlord.
Here are some questions to ask;
- Did the tenant pay rent on time each month?
- Did the tenant look after the rental property?
- How often did the tenant raise issues with the landlord or letting agent?
- Were any complaints received from neighbours regarding the tenant?
- What condition did they leave the property at the end of the tenancy?
- Would you feel happy renting to the tenant again?
Ask For Rent Upfront
While this may be a lot to ask and not always in scope, a tenant with a high risk credit score may be prepared to pay rent upfront. Paying the first six months of rent upfront will ease any initial worries and give the tenant time to prove their reliability.
Receive Payments By Direct Debit
Asking for rent payments via direct debit is common practice these days and is especially important if you’re concerned about a tenant’s financial responsibility.
Shorten The Tenancy
If you’re worried about the reliability of a tenant, setting a shorter, probationary rental period in which the tenant has time to prove their responsibility could be a good idea. If you experience late payments or other issues, you can terminate the tenancy early.
Talk To The Tenant
You can tell a lot from a frank, face-to-face conversation. If your potential tenant willingly discloses their credit issues and can provide a reasonable explanation for the low score, you will be much better placed to make an informed decision.
How To Organise A Tenant Reference Check
Although credit checks aren’t the only way to choose the right tenant, it is important to perform tenant referencing so you aren’t caught out further down the line.
As a busy landlord, you may want to delegate this task to a professional tenant referencing company. Placing this responsibility in the experienced hands of a recommended referencing company will minimise any risks and help the process go smoothly.
Protect Your Property With No Letting Go
In addition to choosing a reliable tenant, a comprehensive inventory is one of the best ways to protect your rental property.
At No Letting Go, we offer unbiased property inventory reports to help safeguard your property against damage and recover essential costs at the end of a tenancy. All the way through from Schedule of Condition, to check in and property visits, our property clerks are there to simplify the rental process and save you time.
Interested in hearing more? Head to our website to discover the full range of property management services we offer.
Budgets can be tough to manage for landlord and letting agents alike. Sometimes, property maintenance costs can eat into your finances dramatically.
From what’s involved to how to save, we offer insights and guidance on how to best manage budgets when undergoing maintenance on your property portfolio.
What Is Included In Maintenance Costs?
Before we go into budget management, we need to be clear on what maintenance costs are involved in renting a residential property.
Here’s a list of all the things to consider when it comes to maintenance;
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to fix any repairs needed resulting from normal wear and tear. This can include;
- Repairing or replacing white goods and appliances
- Fixing boiler issues
- Repairing any electrical faults
Refurbishment & Decoration
Keeping your property looking fresh for new tenants is an important part of being a good landlord and attracting the right target tenants. It’s recommended that carpets are replaced every 5-7 years, and properties are fully redecorated every 3 years.
However, if your property is looking particularly lived in after a tenancy or you come across some questionable stains, you might need to redecorate more often.
Here’s what else is included in refurbishment and decoration;
- Painting throughout
- Replacing carpets or flooring
- Replacing curtains
- Replacing old, tired furniture items every 10-15 years
- Replacing kitchen and bathroom fittings every 10-15 years
It’s not just the inside that needs attention. Staying on top of the exterior of your property can help ward off future structural issues and save money in the long run.
Here’s what it could include;
- Replacing missing roof tiles
- Clearing guttering
- Garden fence maintenance
- Window cleaning and repair
Thorough cleaning is essential between tenancies, and you may also need to arrange for cleaning to be done during a tenancy. If the windows need cleaning for example, or if the property has suffered water damage.
Particularly important during void periods, regular property inspections are an important part of maintenance for buy to let properties.
Inspections protect your property from theft, vandalism or damage from unnoticed leaks, preventing the need for extensive future repairs. We offer a professional vacant property inspection service to give you peace of mind that your investment is protected.
Gas Safety Certificates & Safety Checks
UK landlords have a legal requirement to arrange regular safety checks, including;
- An annual gas safety inspection from a Gas Safe registered engineer
- Electrical safety checks
- PAT tests for white goods
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Ensure smoke detectors are present and working
This cost is usually overlooked by most landlords, but the time you put into the maintenance of your portfolio really adds up. Particularly if you are balancing your duties as a landlord with another paid job, extra time spent on maintenance may mean losing out on wages.
If this is the case, it may be worth investing in a full management service from a property management company so you can swap a management fee for more time for other ventures.
How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Rental Property?
Maintenance costs will vary depending on several factors;
- Size of the property
- Age of the property- older homes require more upkeep
- Location of the property- service charges vary dependant on area
- Type and number of tenants
For example, if you rent to students or large families, you may have to fork out more for accidental damage repair costs.
Landlord Maintenance Costs: How to Save Money
Now we’ve discussed what’s involved, it’s time to look at ways to save.
Choose Your Target Tenant Wisely
While finding tenants may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to maintenance, the tenant you choose could have an effect on your maintenance costs.
For example, as mentioned above, renting to students can result in more accidental damage as there tends to be more people living in one property, and tenants have a reputation for partying! Similarly, renting to tenants with pets is likely to involve more refurbishment at the end of the tenancy.
Deciding on your target tenant from the get-go is an important part of the process.
Act Fast When It Comes to Repairs
The quicker you act on repairs and maintenance tasks, the more popular you’ll be with tenants and the less likely they are to develop into serious issues. Usually, dealing with problems as soon as they arise means you can save money in the long run as you have time to think about the best possible solution.
Paying for maintenance costs early will also help you to manage your monthly budgets and keep on top of your spend.
Buy Quality Furnishings
Opting for the cheapest furnishings available isn’t always wise. The cost of replacing flimsy furniture every year is likely to add up to more than investing in quality in the first place. This is particularly true for mattresses, sofas and dining tables. Our blog on furnishing your rental property will help you with some handy tips.
Keep It Simple
When it comes to decorating your properties, more is less. You don’t need to go overboard to provide a comfortable home for tenants. Simple, modern furniture without too many frills will appeal to most and will be kinder on the budget.
Tip: Avoid painting everything white as it will require more upkeep. Neutral, mid-tones are much more forgiving.
Don’t Skimp on Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is essential when renting a property. Finding the right deal can help you save when things go wrong. Quality contents or accidental damage insurance will protect you in the case of weather damage or accidental spills.
Make sure you shop around for the best deals.
Check Council Tax Exceptions
If one of your rental properties is vacant for a period, or you are performing refurbishment that renders your property inhabitable, you may be eligible for Council Tax redemption. This will leave you with some extra cash to spend on essential repairs and decoration.
Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance
By increasing the energy-saving potential of your property, you could save money that can be injected back into the maintenance budget.
By reinforcing insulation in your rental property, you could save a significant amount in tax.
Know When To Ask For Help
While rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in can save on service fees, it’s not always the best option.
Botched DIY can end up costing more than the original problem, and when it comes to electrical or plumbing issues, professional is always best.
Get More Than One Quote
When you need to pick up the phone to a plumber or tradesperson, make sure you do your research.
Particularly important when it comes to bigger jobs, getting several quotes will help you find the most competitive price.
Invest In A Comprehensive Inventory Service
Compiling a comprehensive written and photographic list of all of the items and furnishings and their condition within your property is one of the best ways to recuperate maintenance costs at the end of a tenancy.
If there is any damage beyond normal wear and tear, it will be much easier to deduct the appropriate costs from the deposit.
A professional property inventory service provides an impartial account of your property and is delivered using high quality photography in a handy, easily accessible digital report.
Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities: Help From No Letting Go
The costs of being a landlord are wide ranging. From agent fees to mortgage interest, balancing your rental income with outgoing costs can be tough.
That’s why sometimes it pays to get some help. Whether it’s repairs and maintenance reports or inventory services, our teams of experienced clerks could help streamline your business so you can take control of your budget.
Browse our full list of property management services to find out how we can help.
It can be tricky to make your property stand out from the crowd in the saturated property sector. So, how can you take advantage of the latest in digital photography software to ensure your property is snapped up by the best tenants?
That’s where 360° property photography comes in. Our virtual photography service could be the difference between blending in and beating the competition.
If you’re looking to attract more viewings and get ahead of the curve with the latest in PropTech, find out what this service could offer.
What is 360° Degree Photography?
360° degree photography provides interactive, panoramic images that place the viewer in the footsteps of the photographer. This type of panoramic photography allows you to ‘look’ up, down and to the left and right of the image for a full 360° view.
Panoramic photos are transformed via 360 degree photography software to recreate a room or space. (You may have seen this being used in google street view on google maps)
What is a 360° Virtual Tour?
A 360° virtual tour replicates a standard property tour or house viewing through virtual reality, allowing the user to ‘visit’ properties from anywhere in the world. Users are able to explore each room of the property from the comfort of their living rooms via a connected device.
The Benefits of Virtual 360° Photography Tours
With most property searches starting online, it makes sense to present your property in its best light. From saving time to gaining trust, here’s what 360° technology could do for your business;
Exceptional Property Marketing
First impressions count and 360° photos could give your property the edge. High quality images make you and your business look professional, and the more detailed images available of your property, the more popular it will be with prospective tenants.
Bring your property to life and highlight its best features with a full, virtual tour and help potential tenants picture themselves living in your property by exploring each room in detail.
Gain Tenant Trust
There isn’t really anywhere to hide when it comes to virtual photography tours. By providing a realistic picture of your property and putting every part of the building on display, you will gain trust from tenants. Essential for starting the tenant relationship off on the right foot.
Remote Property Viewings
A virtual tour can be accessed from anywhere- all you need is a digital device.
Save time and resources by allowing prospective tenants to experience an immersive online property viewing from home. This benefits tenants and property professionals alike, as tenants won’t waste time visiting unsuitable properties and lettings agents will have a narrower, targeted tenant pool to focus on.
This service could also benefit landlords who live abroad or a long distance away from the properties in their portfolio, allowing them to inspect their investment from anywhere in the world.
With a 24 hour turn around, our 360° virtual photography service can be delivered quickly, so you can stay ahead in the dynamic lettings industry.
Our Property Reporting Software
Our property reporting software, Kaptur, enables virtual tours to be embedded into any compliance report.
Kaptur has been developed specifically for busy property professionals looking to streamline their workload. From custom reporting to location mapping- Kaptur represents the latest in PropTech.
How Can 360° Virtual Tour Photography Be Used?
We’ve partnered with Eye Spy 360 to offer a nationwide service helping landlords, estate agents and property professionals market and manage their property portfolios.
Here’s an example of when virtual tours could be utilised;
- Residential sales and lettings marketing
- Insurance inspections
- Block and property management inspections
- Derelict building inspections
- Property research projects
- Inventory and schedule of condition of large properties
- Commercial sales and leasing
- Build to Rent projects
Whatever the type of property, a 360° virtual tour could be of service.
Property Photography and Floor Plans
In addition to standard property photography as part of your visual inventory report, we also offer floor plan services to add to your marketing literature and reporting.
All of the No Letting Go surveyors are highly trained according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) guidelines, ensuring a professional service with accurate results.
360° Property Photography Prices
Interested in finding out more? Get in touch to book a survey or find out how we can incorporate a 360° virtual property tour into a regular No Letting Go report.
To discover how else we could help, browse our full list of property management services.
It’s a common question among new or soon-to-be landlords – do I need landlord insurance?
The short answer is yes. In addition to healthy investment returns, being a landlord comes with a lot of added risks and responsibility. To minimise this risk, investing in reliable insurance is essential.
Protecting your investment is paramount, but the jargon around landlord insurance can make it tricky to keep your facts straight.
We’ve curated a simple, yet comprehensive guide for landlords to help you get your head around landlord insurance and work out which type is best for you.
Here’s what it is, how it works and how to get it.
What is Landlord Insurance Cover?
Landlord insurance is a type of home insurance, specifically designed for rental properties. This broad term can include anything from contents insurance to rental protection.
Your policy could cover;
- Damage to the property
- Loss of rent
- Damage to or loss of contents
- Legal claims made against you by tenants
Is Landlord Insurance a Legal Requirement?
While landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement, standard home insurance will not cover you for rental properties and going without could cost you dearly in terms of money, time and hassle.
Do You Really Need Landlord Insurance?
Often, you will need permission from your mortgage provider in order to let your property to tenants who will most likely require specialist insurance.
Legal issues aside, it’s always a good idea to protect your property as comprehensively as possible to protect both yourself and your investment.
What’s the Difference Between Home Insurance and Landlord Insurance?
Home insurance is designed to protect private homes from damage and loss. A rental property comes with a whole host of different issues. For example, as a landlord, you are less able to keep an eye on the day to day happenings in the property and have to rely on tenants to update you on any problems that occur.
Here’s a few of the differences between home and landlord insurance;
- Home insurance only covers the owner/occupier if they are in need of alternative accommodation. Landlord insurance covers tenants in this situation.
- Landlord insurance can cover you for loss of rent.
- Landlord insurance can cover any legal costs needed as a result of your actions as a landlord.
Types of Landlord Insurance
Here, we provide a brief overview of the different types of landlord insurance available;
Landlord Buildings Insurance
Buildings insurance covers any damage caused to the building itself. This could mean damage from fire, flooding or even malicious damage caused by the occupants. Every insurance provider is different, so you’ll have to check which type of damage this covers.
We highly recommend getting buildings insurance, especially if you are the freeholder.
Landlord Contents Insurance
Contents insurance protects against loss or damage of goods and furniture within a property. So, if you are renting a furnished property, it could be a good idea. However, this type of insurance does not protect against normal wear and tear.
Different insurance plans offer various cover and allow you to insure different parts of your property. For example, communal areas in flats or shared accommodation. It won’t protect items belonging to tenants.
Accidental Damage Insurance
Accidental damage insurance comes under contents insurance and can cover the cost of anything from spills and stains to broken windows.
Landlord Rent Guarantee Insurance
Otherwise known as rental protection insurance or loss of rent insurance, this type of cover protects you if you are unable to rent out your property as a result of an insured event like a fire or flood.
Tenant Default Insurance
Tenant default insurance covers you if your tenant fails to pay rent for two months, covering the cost for up to eight months. You will need to conduct the proper credit checks at the start of the tenancy to be eligible.
Commercial Landlord Insurance
If you let to a third-party business, you will need commercial landlord insurance. Commercial buildings have different designs and purposes, meaning there are different risks attached.
Commercial landlord insurance can cover accidental damage, vandalism and rental income protection.
Landlord Liability Insurance
Also referred to as property owner’s liability cover, this type of insurance covers legal defence costs and expenses in the event your tenant has an accident and considers it your fault.
With this type of insurance, you’re looking at high limits, usually upwards of £1 million.
Legal Expenses Insurance
This covers legal expenses such as court costs when chasing up late tenant payments and gives you access to legal expertise.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
If you employ anyone else to work at one of your rental properties, say as a gardener or cleaner, you are required by law to have this insurance. Employers’ liability covers legal defence costs and awards made for any injuries, accidents or illness as a result of your negligence.
HMO Landlord Insurance
If you rent out an HMO property, the terms of your insurance cover will differ slightly from single occupancy homes.
Finding an insurance plan tailored to HMO properties could help you get the protection you need.
Alternative Accommodation Insurance
If your property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event and the tenancy agreement requires you to provide alternative accommodation for your tenants, this type of insurance is a good idea.
Unoccupied Property Insurance
Unoccupied property cover can help during void periods or if you need to make renovations to your property. To qualify as unoccupied, a property usually has to be vacant for 30 days.
You will also need to arrange for regular vacant property inspections.
Multi-House Landlord Insurance
If you have several properties in your portfolio, it is probably worth taking out multi-property landlord insurance.
By including all of your properties on one policy, you could save money and time on paperwork and other processes.
Landlord Home Emergency Insurance
Boiler breakdown or serious leaks are a surprisingly common occurrence. Landlord home emergency insurance provides you with 24/7 access to emergency cover for plumbing, heating, power and security issues.
What Kind of Insurance do I Need for a Rental Property?
The type of insurance you’ll need depends on the type of property you rent and your specific needs as a landlord. We answer some common questions;
Do I Need Landlord Insurance If I Have Buildings Insurance?
In most cases, you will need to take out a specific insurance when renting out a property in addition to your home buildings insurance.
Some policies may allow you to amend your existing home buildings insurance to cover your activities as a landlord, however you may also want to take out extra insurance to cover all bases.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance if Renting to Family?
Yes. It is just as important to have insurance when renting to family members. You will need to draw up a tenancy agreement for legal purposes, even if it’s just a casual arrangement.
Renting to offspring or siblings may feel informal, but if they are paying you rent, you are legally regarded as their landlord and standard home insurance won’t cover you.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance If I Live in the Property?
Even if you live in the property, standard home insurance won’t protect you. Make sure you tell your lender that you live in the rental property when you take out the insurance. Again, you will need a tenancy agreement in place.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance for a Flat?
Renting out a flat is the same as renting a house when it comes to insurance.
The only difference with renting a flat is that you may not need buildings insurance if there is a freeholder arranging this. Be sure to inform them that you are renting out your flat so they can make any adjustments to their insurance policy.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance if Renting a Room?
Again, standard home insurance is unlikely to be valid when renting out a room in the same property you live in.
If you have a lodger, you will need a tenancy agreement in place for your landlord insurance policy.
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?
Landlord insurance can cover a variety of different risks and situations, depending on your needs. The basics are buildings and contents cover, but you can add extra policies as you see fit.
We answer some common questions about landlord insurance cover;
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Accidental Damage?
Yes. If you want your insurance policy to cover accidental damage such as dodgy DIY or carpet stains, opt for accidental damage insurance to protect your property.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Appliances?
Yes. Contents insurance covers white goods and appliances provided by you in the rental property.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Injury?
Yes. To protect yourself against legal claims made by tenants, landlord liability insurance will provide legal defence costs and expenses.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Unpaid Rent?
Yes. Tenant default insurance covers you if your tenant fails to pay rent for two consecutive months.
How Does Landlord Insurance Work?
Your first step in purchasing landlord insurance is to decide what type of cover you need. It’s possible to find a tailored policy suited to your individual needs and requirements. Whether you opt for basic cover (building, contents and liability) or go for comprehensive cover, make sure you read the fine print to find out exactly what’s included.
What is Sum Insured?
The sum insured is the amount an insurer will pay out for a claim. The higher the value of your rental property, the larger this amount will be. Make sure the sum insured is enough to rebuild your property, rather than focusing on its market value.
Calculating your rebuild cost accurately will ensure you don’t overpay for your insurance. There are online rebuilding cost calculators to help, although keep in mind, this will only provide you with an estimate rather than exact values.
Levels of Excess
You will also need to think about the amount of excess you are able to pay if you need to make a claim. Higher excess reduces the cost of your insurance and different claims can come with different levels of excess.
Before you buy you will need to know;
- Your rental property’s rebuild value
- The level of excess you can pay
- What type of cover you need
How to Claim Landlord Insurance
If you ever need to make a claim, make sure you do so as soon as possible. You will need to provide as much evidence as you can to get the best pay-out. This could include receipts, invoices and photographic evidence.
How Much Does Landlord Insurance Cost?
The cost of your landlord insurance will be dependent on a variety of different factors;
- Location – Local crime rates and the probability of severe weather in a certain area will affect the cost of your insurance.
- Type of tenants – Students, tenants with pets and those on housing benefits are deemed more of a risk by some insurers, meaning higher insurance costs.
- Size of property – More tenants means higher costs.
- Number of properties – Naturally, more properties mean more costs. Look for an insurer who offers portfolio property discounts.
- Sums insured – Your insurance will cost more the larger your sums insured
Which is the Best Landlord Insurance?
To compare landlord insurance and get a landlord insurance quote, there are plenty of price comparison sites to reference.
Here are some popular landlord insurance providers;
- AXA Landlord Insurance
- Aviva Landlord Insurance
- CIA Landlord Insurance
- SAGA Landlord Insurance
- Direct Line Landlord Insurance
- Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance
Makes sure you shop around and do your research to get the best deal for you.
Protect Your Investment with No Letting Go
We understand the importance of protecting your rental property for the long-term success of your business.
A detailed property inventory is one of the best ways to secure your property by providing the critical evidence you need to recuperate costs. Find out more about our professional, unbiased property inventory service to get started.
If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of providing a furnished or partly furnished property for prospective tenants, you’ve come to the right place.
Letting a furnished property has plenty of benefits, including quality tenants and longer tenancies. However, furnishing your property can get expensive and cause issues down the line if not done properly.
Here, we discuss how to furnish a rental property with tips and tricks on making the most of your portfolio.
What’s the Difference Between Fully Furnished and Partly Furnished?
Let’s clear this up before we get started.
Usually, a furnished property will come with essential electrical appliances, white goods and basic furniture. In short, everything a tenant needs to move in straight away.
A partly furnished property will only include white goods, lighting and essentials such as curtains and kitchen cabinets. It may also include some other furniture items at the discretion of the landlord or letting agent.
An unfurnished property will come with only the very basics- light fittings, carpets and essential appliances such as an oven.
Should you Furnish Your Rental Property?
Furnished or unfurnished? It’s a tricky question. While renting unfurnished properties may seem like the easy option, providing a furnished property comes with attractive benefits;
You Can Charge Higher Rent
A well-furnished property may affect the amount of rent you can charge.
With a lack of quality, furnished properties on the rental market, tenants searching for a ready-made home are prepared to pay a little more for the convenience.
Good quality furnishings that make your property look welcoming will attract tenants and help your property stand out.
Attract the Right Tenants
A well-furnished property will attract a wider pool of renters, allowing you to pick and choose to find the right tenant for you– whatever that might look like.
Secure Longer Tenancies
A home that feels well cared for and inviting will encourage tenants to stay longer term.
Who is Your Target Tenant?
The tenant group you’re targeting should be the biggest consideration when deciding whether to furnish your property. Well established families or older professionals are likely to have their own furniture they want to bring with them.
Whereas students or young professionals may be looking for convenience and a place they can move in straight away.
What Does a Landlord Have to Provide in a Furnished Flat?
When providing tenants with a furnished home, there are certain items they will expect to be included;
What to Include
A furnished property should include;
- White goods (oven, washing machine, fridge freezer etc.)
- Dining table and chairs
- Sofas and chairs
- Wardrobes, chest of drawers and cupboards
- Light fittings
What Not to Include
However, there are a few items landlords are not expected to provide;
- Bed linen, duvets and pillows
- Cleaning supplies
Furnishing a Buy to Let Property: Top Tips
To make things easier for yourself at the end of the tenancy agreement, we have some tips and advice on how to furnish your rental property;
Choose Easy to Clean Furniture
Wear and tear is inevitable, but to keep your property in good condition, easy to clean appliances will encourage your tenants to keep things well maintained.
When it comes to personal taste, we’re all different. Let your tenants choose the little details so they can feel at home. Similarly- neutral colours work best.
Choose Easy to Replace Items
This way, if things get broken, they can be replaced with a ‘like for like’ item without too much bother.
Replace Furnishings as Needed
Old, stained carpets will do nothing for your properties appeal. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme recommends replacing most items of furniture after 7 years.
Provide Basic Tools
Providing basic tools will encourage tenants to take care of minor issues themselves, taking one more thing off your plate.
Follow Safety Regulations
As a responsible landlord, you need to follow fire safety laws when it comes to soft furnishings.
Choosing the Right Furnishings
Let’s take a closer look at some of the types of furniture to include in your rental property, room by room.
Living Room Furniture
Basics to include:
- Sofa(s) or armchairs
- Coffee table
Best Sofas for Rental Properties
Here’s a few of our top picks of the best sofas to buy for your rental property:
This modern 2-seater sofa in a neutral grey will work well in slick apartments for young professionals and is pretty easy on the budget too!
A sofa bed is a big plus among tenants, and this one is great value for money. This simple, classic style will work well in most interiors and families will love the extra storage space.
If you’re trying to attract professionals willing to pay high prices for the right home, a quality sofa is essential. This one comes from an esteemed brand and the elegant style will have mass appeal.
Kitchen/Dining Room Furniture
Basics to include:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Essential appliances (oven, washing machine, fridge freezer, toaster, kettle etc.)
- Table and chairs
Best Dining Tables for Rental Properties
A dining table is the hub of any home and getting the right one is important.
This handy piece of furniture features built in storage and a fold-out table design. Perfect when letting properties with small kitchens.
The simple, modern design of this table will fit neatly into any interior, and the extendable section can accommodate extra guests. It’s also budget-friendly!
Basics to include:
- Chest of drawers
- Bedside table
Best Mattress for Rental Properties
A mattress is perhaps the most important piece of furniture for your rental property. A considerate investment, you need it to be durable and long lasting. Here’s our top picks;
This mattress from the Memory Foam Warehouse makes quality memory foam affordable. Starting at under £100, you’re unlikely to find anything cheaper.
Buying a mattress for your rental property is only half the battle. The next job is delivery. Opting for a bed in a box mattress means the mattress can be delivered straight to the property in a convenient sized box.
Once you’ve invested in a mattress, it makes sense to protect it. A mattress topper can prolong the life of a mattress and guard against stains to keep it looking fresh at the end of the tenancy. This memory foam mattress topper is a cheap but comfortable option.
Protecting Your Furnished Rental Property: Inventory Management
Once you’ve gone to the effort of furnishing your rental property, you need to ensure it’s protected.
The easiest way to do this is by investing in a comprehensive inventory report delivered by unbiased professionals. A property inventory helps guard your property and its contents against damage by providing full details of its condition at the start and end of a tenancy.
At No Letting Go, we provide landlords and property professionals with comprehensive services and reports to protect their investment and streamline processes. Browse our full list of inventory management services to find out how we can help.
Do you own or manage property in the London area? Whether it’s a single rental property or a large portfolio of flats and houses, it helps to have a professional team behind you ensuring things run smoothly.
With over 65 UK offices, we offer professional property inventory services throughout London and the surrounding areas.
Looking for property inventory in London? We’ve gathered a list of our London offices to help you find your local No Letting Go branch.
What is a Property Inventory?
An inventory is a legal document providing an accurate record of the contents and condition of a property at the start of a tenancy.
Property Inventory reports can include written and photographic evidence to protect landlords and tenants alike. A professional inventory service helps landlords recover costs to cover damage and repairs by determining how much money is deducted from the deposit.
A comprehensive, quality inventory report can even help settle disputes at the end of a tenancy by providing unbiased evidence.
What is an Inventory Check-In?
An inventory check-in is simply the process of the inventory being taken and provided to the tenant by the inventory clerk or landlord at the start of a tenancy. Usually, the tenant is given a short period to check the property before signing.
A check-out report then determines any changes made to the property between the start and end of the tenancy.
When Should Inventory Be Done?
The best time to schedule an inventory is immediately before the start of a tenancy. This means that the report will provide the most accurate representation of the cleanliness and condition of the property on move-in day.
Do Landlords Have to Provide Inventory?
While there is no legal requirement for a landlord to provide an inventory, it is highly recommended.
When claiming against a deposit, it is the landlord’s responsibility to prove that the tenant has damaged the property. Without a high-quality inventory report, this becomes a lot harder to justify and conflicts can arise.
For this reason, having the protection of an inventory report undertaken by independent inventory clerks is essential if your tenant decides to contest any deductions taken.
Our Property Services at a Glance
Property inventory is just one of the wide-ranging professional services we offer. Here’s a taste of what working with us could provide;
- Inventory management
- Check in services
- Right to rent checks
- Property visits and inspections
- Check out services
- Dilapidation reports
- House viewings
- Floor plans
- Property appraisals
- 360 virtual photography
- Health & Safety reports
- Real time support
Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at the No Letting Go property inventory services, London and where to find them;
Property Inventory West London
Looking for property management services near you? Here’s a list of our No Letting Go offices in West London:
Letting Go Uxbridge
The Uxbridge office is run by John Farrell, an experienced inventory and property reporting specialist, with great local knowledge.
Their DigiSign feature enables the collection of digital signatures with automated reminders, meaning no more chasing up tenants!
48 Drayton Grove, London W13 0LA, UK
Office Tel: 07889 996922
Property Inventory Services in East London
For landlords, letting agents and property professionals in the East London area, here’s where you can find our services:
No Letting Go Romford & Docklands
Lead up by Patur Mohan, the Romford and Docklands Inventory services cover Romford, Ilford, Dagenham and the Docklands.
Offering a professional, reliable check-in/check-out service to help safeguard your property, this branch is dedicated to helping businesses and landlords protect their investment.
Office Tel: 07544 466617
No Letting Go Stratford & Newnham
The No Letting Go Stratford & Newham team are headed up by Mundeep and Satinder Grewal.
Covering Stratford, Royal Docks, Gallions Reach, East Ham, Canning Town, Plaistow, Beckton and Forest Gate, the team offers everything from inventory management to Smoke and CO inspection.
London Borough of Newham, UK
Office Tel: 0207 760 7569
Property Inventory North London
For rental properties in the North of London, we have the following branches:
No Letting Go Barnet
With Mitchell and Gabriella Walters at the helm, No Letting Go Barnet is committed to providing detailed reports tailored to their client’s needs. With over 7 years in the property industry, Mitchell is passionate about representing his clients out in the market.
This branch covers North London, St Johns Wood, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Highgate, Finchley, Barnet, Hendon, Willesden, Cricklewood, Muswell Hill, Edgeware and Borehamwood.
41 High St, Barnet EN5 5UW, UK
Office Tel: 0845 139 1400 / 07761 236340 / 07811 209773
No Letting Go Enfield
Also run by the Mitchells, No Letting Go Enfield covers the following areas;
Enfield, East Barnet, Stoke Newington, Seven Sisters, Tottenham, Edmonton, Southgate, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Winchmore Hill, South Woodford and Ilford.
41 High St, Barnet EN5 5UW, UK
Office Tel: 0845 139 1400 / 07761 236340 / 07811 209773
No Letting Go Islington & Camden
Chris Ford has been busy building a strong, highly trained team around him at the Islington and Camden property inventory company. With over 23 years in the retail industry, Chris is dedicated to providing a high level of customer service.
This branch covers; Islington, Kings Cross, Haringey, Harringay, Hornsey, Upper Holloway, Archway, Crouch End, Camden, Highgate, Hampstead Heath, Holloway, Barnsbury, Tufnell Park, Highbury and Highbury Fields.
48 Weavers Way, London NW1 0XE, UK
Office Tel: 07415 087316
No Letting Go Walthamstow
Walthamstow property inventory services are owned and operated by Ann Ennis who has over 45 years of experience in the property industry. The team prides itself on providing a smooth service to free up time for property professionals.
This branch covers Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone.
Bramley Close, London E17 6EG, UK
Office Tel: 07854 966621
Property Inventory Services South London
For landlords and letting agents looking for help managing their portfolios in South London, here’s who to turn to:
No Letting Go Battersea
Owned by Rafi Khan, the Battersea No Letting Go franchise pride themselves on going the extra mile for customers and will always try and accommodate last minute bookings.
Covering SW11 & SW18, the team provide wide-ranging services such as property visits and Legionella Risk Assessments.
12 Saint Olaves Road, London E6 2PA, UK
Office Tel: 07863 357196
No Letting Go Bromley & Bexley
Abby Chilvers has worked in the housing sector for most of his life, including social housing and housing associations in London.
The Bromley and Bexley No Letting Go team are the people to go to for professional, tailor made reports.
Areas covered; Bromley, Bickley, Downham, Keston, Shortlands, Hayes, Beckenham, Eden Park, Elmers End, West Wickham, Orpington, Petts Wood, St Paul’s Cray, St Mary Cray, Chelsfield, Green St Green, Chislehurst, Swanley, Bexley, Albany Park, Sidcup and Foots Cray.
The Glades, Bromley, High St, Bromley, UK
Office Tel: 07956 676 120
No Letting Go Croydon
The Croydon property inventory services branch is run by Sean Rieder and provides detailed reports, designed to protect landlords in the event of a dispute.
Covering Croydon, South Croydon, Mitcham, Warlingham, Purley, Streatham, Norbury, Thornton heath and Furzedown.
Beckenham Rd, Beckenham BR3 4RL, UK
Office Tel: 07889 634974
No Letting Go Fulham
Yosha Hussain leads the No Letting Go Fulham office, providing inventory services to all letting agents, property management companies, estate agents, councils, commercial letting agents, housing associations and landlords in and around the Fulham area.
Covering SW6 & W14.
67c Holland Road, London W14 8HL, UK
Office Tel: 07885 727265
No Letting Go Greenwich
From inventory management to smoke and CO reports and installation, Shewana Zaffar is more than happy to discuss your needs as an agent or landlord at the Greenwich No Letting Go branch.
This branch covers Greenwich, Woolwich, Plumstead, Blackheath and Thamesmead.
Tarnwood Park, London SE9 5PA, UK
Office Tel: 07581 248953
No Letting Go Richmond
Syed and Zoofa Wasti own the Richmond No Letting Go office, providing Kingston, Richmond, Staines, Chiswick, Ealing, Surbiton, New Malden, Hounslow, Feltham, Kew, Teddington, Hampton, Worcester Park, East Molesey, Roehampton and Barnes with professional property services.
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, UK
Office Tel: 07880 343851
No Letting Go Southwark
Richard Seymour has a breadth of experience within the lettings industry and comes highly recommended by clients for his professional, reliable team at Southwark.
Covering Southwark, London Bridge, Shad Thames, Borough, Tower Bridge, Waterloo, The Southbank, Elephant and Castle, Old Kent Road, East Dulwich, Camberwell, Denmark Hill, Peckham, Herne Hill and Nunhead.
London Borough of Southwark, UK
Office Tel: 0207 237 6666
No Letting Go Sutton & Merton
No Letting Go Sutton & Merton is owned & operated by Garry Lockwood. As a landlord, Garry understands the importance of a detailed inventory and takes pride in his team’s thorough, common-sense approach.
Covering Ashstead, Carshalton, Cheam, Epsom, Leatherhead, Merton, Morden, Raynes Park, Wallington, Wimbledon and surrounding areas.
Grove Rd, Sutton SM1 2AP, UK
Office Tel: 0202 8234 6189 / 07905 619060
Property Inventory Services in Central London
And last but not least, here’s where you can find out property inventory services in and around central London.
No Letting Go City West End
Luke Marriott leads the No Letting Go City West End office, which offers inventory services and 360 virtual tours to all estate agents, holiday rentals and management companies.
The City West End branch covers the following areas; Victoria, Pimlico, Belgravia, Chelsea, Kensington, Mayfair, Marylebone, Whitehall, Fizrovia, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, West End, Clerkenwell, Islington, City of London, Shoreditch and Hackney.
3c Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3RA, UK
Office Tel: 0203 151 7027
How Can I Make My Inventory Easier?
From floor planning to mid-term inspections, No Letting Go can help you stay on top of your property portfolio, even on the go!
We use the latest Kaptur technology to provide comprehensive inventories including safety reports, fire furnishing requirements and meter readings to ensure you remain compliant with current regulations.
To discover the rest of our property services in London, visit our services page and find out how we can help.
For landlords and property professionals, finding the right tenant for your rental property is fundamental for business success.
But who should be your target tenant?
It’s not as simple as finding someone who can pay the rent on time. Wide-ranging factors such as profession, marital status and long-term goals should also come into play when thinking about what you want from the arrangement and the safeguarding of your property.
Here, we look at the pros and cons of renting to different types of tenants so you can identify the right target tenant for you.
Choosing the Right Tenant
Before you start marketing your rental property, you first need to identify a target audience to gear your tenant search towards.
By identifying a specific tenant persona from the get-go, you will be in a better position to rent your property and attract your ideal tenant. Whether your first priority is the careful upkeep of your property, or to find a long-term tenant, establishing your needs and requirements at this stage will help narrow down the search.
When it comes to finding a good tenant, think about your future relationship and who you want to be dealing with on a regular basis. A good tenant looks different to different landlords. Do you want someone looking for a long-term let, or a you happy with a quick turn-around?
Whatever your needs, here are some of the pros and cons of different types of tenants;
High Income Tenants
The income of your target tenant depends largely on the type and size of the rental property you own and its location.
For example, landlords with property in central London will need to target high income tenants in order to meet monthly rent payments.
One of the biggest benefits of renting to high income tenants is that you can rely on sufficient rent return and are unlikely to have to chase up missed payments. However, a tenant with a higher income is likely to hold your property up to higher standards.
Any good landlord will be committed to ensuring their properties are pleasant, safe spaces to live in, but renting to this group requires a higher level of detail.
This means replacing carpets and furnishings more regularly and providing sought after benefits such as high-speed internet and modern security systems.
Low Income Tenants
If your property is located in a less costly area, it’s likely you will need to target lower income tenants.
Renting to tenants receiving housing benefits comes with its advantages and disadvantages;
- One disadvantage is that rent is paid to the landlord in arrears rather than in advance.
- There is also a lot of paperwork involved in renting to tenants on housing benefit and administration processes can be slow.
- Another issue is contents insurance. Premiums can rise when letting to this tenant group.
- Unfortunately, some landlords are wary of renting to tenants on housing benefit due to an assumption that their property won’t be looked after properly, and payments will be missed. However, this negative stereotype is unfounded and is down to a minority of individuals.
However, renting to this group comes will lots of benefits to landlords;
- Due to the lack of rental properties available, advertising your property as accepting housing benefit means you will have a large pool of prospective tenants to choose from.
- Tenants in receipt of housing benefit are often looking for long-term housing
- As the rental payments are made by the Department for Work and Pensions, payments should be regular and guaranteed.
Renting to Families
Renting to families comes with wide ranging benefits;
- For one, most families are looking for a long-term home as moving with children is a hassle usually best avoided.
- There has also been research to show that renting to families results in less property management time.
The downside is that with children, there usually comes more damage and wear and tear to your property. If you’re particularly precious about a certain property in your portfolio, you may want to avoid renting to large families with young children.
However, if you’re letting the property long-term, you will most likely be redecorating at the end of the tenancy agreement anyway.
Most families are looking for a rental home with a little extra space. Make sure you highlight this benefit of your property when attracting tenants. Families are also more likely to have their own furniture so may be looking for an unfurnished home.
Tenants with Pets
It could be debated what causes more damage to a property- children or pets! While lots of landlords refuse renting to tenants with pets outright, accepting these tenants may be to your advantage.
For one thing, you can charge more in rent. With rental properties that accept pets being few and far between, pet owners will expect to pay a little extra for the privilege. The extra maintenance needed allows you to justifiably charge a premium.
If you do decide to go down this route, obtaining a previous landlord reference from your potential tenants will alert you to any problems caused in the past.
Renting to Student Tenants
Students have a bad reputation when it comes to taking care of rental properties. However, the student rental market is ripe with opportunity, with student homes in high demand in University towns.
Here are some of the benefits;
- If you own property in a University town, finding tenants won’t be a problem.
- If you’re looking for short-term lets, students tend to move on after a year.
- Students are less fussy when it comes to appliances and furnishings, so if you have an older property with basic furnishings it shouldn’t be a problem. As long as your property complies with health and safety obligations and is a comfortable place to live, you won’t need to offer state-of-the-art appliances.
- Renting per room means higher returns!
But don’t forget to consider the following;
- Maintenance and repairs needed may be higher as there tends to be more individuals living in student properties.
- Students like to socialise. When renting to students you need to be aware of the neighbours as you might be called upon to deal with complaints!
- For most students, this is their first time living away from home. In place of a credit check, you will need to ask for a guarantor to safeguard your investment.
- There is growing competition in the student rental market, with purpose-built housing being created. Do your research before you commit.
Renting to Young Professionals
Young professionals are often favoured by landlords due to their independence and financial security.
Here are some of the advantages;
- While still young, this group are less likely to host big parties than students and tend to be more house proud, resulting in less wear and tear.
- With more experience behind them, young professionals are better able to deal with minor issues independently before asking the landlord for help.
- If you decide to rent an HMO property you can expect greater returns.
- Professional couples tend to be stable tenants and are better able to manage rent requirements with two incomes.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind;
- Like high income tenants, young professionals will expect certain living standards and mod cons. You may need to provide a dishwasher, high-speed internet and contemporary furnishings to attract this group.
- If your property is an HMO, you need to be aware of the added paperwork and responsibilities this requires. You may also need to consider potential conflicts between tenants.
- Young professionals tend to move jobs more often which may result in the premature end of a tenancy.
- Younger renters usually search online to find rental properties. Bear this in mind when choosing where to advertise your property.
Finding the Right Tenant
Once you’ve chosen a target tenant group, make sure you complete this checklist before renting your property;
- Meet your potential tenants face to face. It’s important to have a good relationship with your tenants and meeting in person is the best way to work out if it’s the right match.
- Ensure essential tenant checks are undertaken. No Letting Go offer a right to rent check service which is a legal requirement for landlords and letting agents in the UK.
- It’s also worth getting a credit history check and a previous landlord check to be on the safe side.
What Happens Next?
The rental property industry works both ways. If you want to attract your ideal tenant, you need to prove that you’re a responsible and organised landlord with the right safety checks in place.
No Letting Go provide a range of professional services to help streamline your workload and ensure you are fully compliant. From house viewings to inventory management, we can help during all stages of the rental process.
Browse our fully-compliant suite of letting services and feel confident that your property inventory management needs are taken care of
No Letting Go have entered the ESTAS for 2020, and now we need you to cast your votes!
The ESTAS Customer Service Awards are one of the biggest events in any property professional’s calendar. Celebrating exceptional customer service across the property sector, from estate agents to conveyancers and industry suppliers, the ESTAS help companies like ours maintain a high standard of care.
Here’s more about the awards and how you can get involved;
What are the ESTAS?
The annual ESTAS awards take place in Spring and Autumn, attracting the top players in the UK’s property and lettings industry.
The purpose of the awards programme is to celebrate excellent customer service and recognise the companies going above and beyond for their clients.
How Does it Work?
Once a company has signed up to the ESTAS programme, they are then open to receive feedback from their clients and customers.
The awards are based purely on feedback from customers, ensuring honesty and transparency in the voting process. All reviews and votes will be verified by the ESTAS group.
Once all reviews and votes are counted and compared across the other property companies in the running, the winners are celebrated at the prestigious ESTAS awards ceremony.
The ESTAS Awards Ceremony
Over 1000 guests gather for the ESTAS Estate & Letting Agent Awards in May where property TV personality, Phil Spencer presents the award.
The ESTAS conveyancer awards are held in October.
Why Should I Vote?
For landlords and property professionals, reviewing the companies you work with will help improve overall customer service in the industry.
By providing honest feedback from clients and customers, the platform encourages agencies in the property industry to constantly improve their customer care. The official ESTAS stamp means that all feedback is authorised and regulated.
At No Letting Go, keeping track of our performance only makes us want to strive for more and provide the best services for our clients.
For prospective tenants, the home moving process can be stressful and complicated without a little help from the right places. The ESTAS provide a platform for honest feedback, helping you find trusted professionals. This gives you the peace of mind you need that your chosen property professionals are up to scratch.
Why No Letting Go?
At No Letting Go, we’re dedicated to providing the best customer service for our clients and customers. Across all of our branches throughout the UK, our franchisees receive extensive training in how to deliver our services and put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Here’s a little reminder about the services we provide;
Professional Inventory Services
We offer a professional, unbiased property inventory service to help settle disputes through effective negotiation and provide the evidence needed for end of tenancy deposit claims. Using the very latest technology and audit tracking, our reports act as your compliance manager, including relevant health and safety checks.
Health and Safety Reports
Health and safety reports include Smoke and C0 reports, HHSRS and Legionella risk assessment.
Mid-Term Reports and Inspections
Reports and inspections ensure tenants are meeting their contractual obligations. They also check the wear and tear of a property and assess the satisfaction of tenants.
Our pre-check out service ensures that tenants are aware of how the property is expected to be returned at the end of the tenancy. This helps to prevent disputes before issues arise.
Open House Viewings
We can provide and facilitate property viewings on the landlord or estate agent’s behalf.
We have over 65 No Letting Go offices throughout the UK lead by dedicated franchisees with excellent knowledge of the local property market.
At local level, we pride ourselves in the turnaround time of our services. We achieve better or equal returns of our reports with our service level agreement time over 98.4% of the time.
Real Time Support
We offer real-time support for landlords and property professionals via a live and online support centre to get you the help you need instantly.
Latest Property Technology
We use the latest in property inventory systems to collect, prepare, report and manage information. The Kaptur system is designed for busy property professionals, helping to streamline your workload.
Previous Awards and Recognition
We’re proud to be Lettings Supplier of the Year 2016 and Best Inventory Supplier 2009 award winners. We’re also accredited by Safe Contractor, the British Franchise Association (BFA), Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and are regulated by Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA:PropertyMark).
Supporting No Letting Go
No Letting Go have an exceptional record for reliability, quality and professionalism. We have had less than 0.001% of reports losing a dispute since we started (as reported to us) and had no reported full lost cases as a result of using the complete No Letting Go service.
But don’t just take our word for it! Head over to our website where you can find customer testimonials and a full list of our property management services.
If you’ve worked with us or used any of our services, we’d love some feedback! Vote in the ESTAS awards 2020 to get your voice heard!