The recent situation around the world has led to unprecedented economic pressures affecting almost every industry.
Landlords are no exception, with pressure coming from both sides of the industry. Bills still need paying at your end, but the responsibility to your tenants is also as important as ever. It might be fair to say those living in rented accommodation are more likely to suffer the economic fallout than people with assets they can move if required. As a landlord, you are directly affected not only by pressures the situation places upon you but also by your vulnerable tenants being adversely affected.
The official advice from the Government website is that tenants and landlords should work together to get through these times of need, but that is much easier said than done when financial pressures are affecting both party’s judgement. However, we believe there is a way forward through these tough times, especially if you follow these tips on protecting your investment in the challenging circumstances of 2020.
The official government guidelines suggest good communication, and that is still one of the best methods of protecting your investment. Get ahead of the problems by calling your tenants up in these dire times and talking to them about their situation. Knowing problems are on the horizon allows you to plan for them, and similarly, you can keep your tenant informed of your situation. Perhaps non-urgent repairs must be put back a month, but by speaking to the tenant regularly you can ensure no ill-feeling builds, nor any unwanted surprises make themselves known. Also, it might help for you to know what help is available to your tenants. Mags 4 Dorset outlines there are strategies in place to help people struggling with rent or mortgage arrears, and you understanding those could, in turn, help your tenants, who may not be aware.
Make sure you have a plan for if things do start to go wrong. That is not just in terms of non-payment of rent either, but owning a property can spring some nasty surprises at any time, even when a precarious economy is already leaving you on edge. The plumbing and draining coverage on HomeServe shows how it can provide homeowners with a certain amount of peace of mind throughout the year, but it has additional relevance during this current time of national crisis. Being able to deal with unexpected costs and unforeseen issues without major outlay is one great way of ensuring your investment is kept safe, but also that your tenant’s quality of life is not adversely affected by plumbing and drainage problems. They receive a swift resolution to their faulty system, and you are not hit in the pocket and left wondering how you will cover your other outgoings.
In this modern age, payments are almost always streamlined anyway, but if you do not already collect rent electronically, then it is best to do so. By ensuring the money is paid directly from bank to bank, it means tenants do not have their hands on the rent money each month with tough decisions to make, and it makes life easier for you. It means you can check-in one day every month and immediately be aware if you have been let down, thus saving you time and effort. In these challenging times, a landlord’s time is likely to be very precious, so by making transactions straightforward, you are protecting your investment and creating time to use elsewhere.
If your property is an HMO, make sure you’re up to speed with the latest requirements by reading our article HMO 2020 Regulation Guide.
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Date: 13th of August 2020