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Ask the Landlord


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Ask the Landlord

With Mark Trenfield (mark@mlettings.com)

Rising property prices and the ever increasing age of the first time buyer have contributed towards a healthy buy-to-let market over the last few years and many investors are turning into part-time landlords as they decide to invest in property and purchase their first buy-to-let investments.

Now that interest rates have risen we are offering some handy tips and tricks on how to maximize your return from investment property.

TIP: Don’t Penny Pinch

The saying “Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves” is an old adage that many landlords have a reputation of following to the letter although there is a danger that penny pinching will cost - rather than save – the landlord money over the medium to long term.

Landlords should always be mindful of the fact that their investment property is their tenant’s home and there will be times, during any tenancy, when the tenant calls to report a property maintenance issue.

The landlord’s priority should always be to get the maintenance problem fixed as quickly as possible and they should never try and absolve responsibility (by blaming the tenant for the problem) or make the tenant wait an unreasonable amount of time whilst the landlord finds the cheapest workmen.

In the winter, if the central heating fails, then the landlord should use a professional heating company to quickly identify and fix the problem. This might mean that the landlord has to pay an emergency call-out fee because, without heating, the tenant is going to get very cold.

If the cooker element needs replacing, the washing machine fails or the fridge / freezer stops working then the landlord needs to rapidly respond otherwise the tenant will not be able to cook their dinner, wash their clothes or keep their food cold.

Landlords that fail to respond to property maintenance issues and, as a result, deliver a poor level of customer service will unsettle and, ultimately, lose their tenants. I have known landlords, receiving over £6,000 per annum in rent, lose their tenants because of an argument over a £60 repair to the cooker.

The amount of rent lost through void periods (when the investment property is tenantless) will always outweigh any savings that can be achieved by cutting corners on property maintenance. Keeping the tenant happy will always deliver greater returns than penny pinching!

If you would like help finding a tenant for your investment property or you would like to discuss this article further – please contact Mark on 01793 752157 or visit http://www.mlettings.com.

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