Before You Rent Your Property
Deciding to rent out your property or investing in rental property is a serious undertaking in one's life and a major commitment. Even if you are only renting out a room in a shared house, you have to understand that this room will be someone's home, so you need to make sure it is up to scratch. Moreover, you must understand that a tenant is not just a source of income to you, but has legal rights you should always observe.
The landlord usually wants to make sure that the tenant's expectations are fair and that the property can meet their needs easily. On the other hand, no tenant wants to deal with a landlord who doesn't care about arising issues and isn't considerate. If you are a landlord and want to rent out property, before you do it you should understand the tenants' rights. If you want to be successful in this business, it's all about building a strong relationship with your tenants - based on trust and mutual understanding. The tenancy agreement is useful when there are issues or complaints.
Tenancy agreements - beneficial for both tenants and landlords
This legally binding document between landlord and tenants is the first step towards mutual understanding and a stress-free occupancy. The lease agreement should be as detailed as possible, outlining clauses, terms and conditions and clearly stating the tenants' rights and responsibilities. This is the easiest way to avoid misunderstanding and problems. If the landlord's responsibilities include dealing with complaints within 24 hours, then ignoring that may lead to legal problems. If a landlord wants to be taken seriously and respected they should show their willingness to help out at any time. A tenant wants to feel safe and at home, so the landlord's main responsibility is to provide this.
A tenancy agreement covers everything from daily problems such as air-conditioning breaking down or a pipe bursting to due dates for rent and inspection visits. The tenancy agreement should state the exact amount of rent and the included utilities. A tenant should be aware that a landlord isn't exactly required to provide this agreement, but they should always insist on it.
What to do if you are a student landlord
What attracts tenants and keeps current ones is showing them that you are responsible and serious and take care of the property as much as you can. In order to attract tenants for the first time, however, you either need big advertisement, or you can register in a group which promotes high standards and professionalism in student housing. Such groups have big networks and it would be easier for your property to get noticed and rented. The owners which are accredited by such a group have to provide fair tenancy agreements and maintain the property in a good condition. This membership would immediately put you ahead of most landlords.
As a landlord you should know that the tenant has the legal right to pay their deposit into a registered deposit scheme, so this has to be done within 14 days after the receipt is given. Moreover, a landlord has the right for regular inspections of the property he is renting out, so a tenant shouldn't find this as disturbing of their privacy, but as a normal part of the tenancy agreement. A starting landlord should know what their tenants' rights are at all time and in any situation and should be available on the phone or in person within a short period of time.