Successful Property Letting And Management is not something that just happens, it is something that has to be worked at, and planned professionally. When a landlord or an agent has a problem let, it is almost certainly to do with the suitability of the selected tenant. If you do not have sufficient expertise in letting property, then acquire some, or buy some. Speak to your Law practitioner; buy some relevant books, both of these work out far cheaper than the costs involved in dealing with bad tenants.
Many professional letting agents are called in by amateur distressed landlords part way through the tenancy because the tenant might not have paid the rent, they might have refused to leave the property, or they may be damaging the building or abusing the neighbours. The first thing the agent asks is, where is the tenancy agreement?
All too often the agreement has been hastily put together, even scrawled on the back of a cigarette packet. I have seen that. Sometimes there is no discernable agreement at all, sometimes the property has been let to the owner’s best friend whom they just happened to have recently met in a local bar, and sometimes it is let to a distant and barely known relative. Surely that would be safe enough, wouldn’t it? No, it isn’t. Letting a property involves a professional contract between two parties and it should be treated as such. There is no room for making exceptions for “friends” or “relatives” here. All tenants must be dealt with in the same professional manner, regardless of who they are.
The vast majority of problem lets occur because the tenant has not been selected carefully enough, and the references have not been exhaustively followed through. Perhaps the references haven’t been taken up at all. Worse than that, occasionally desperate landlords still proceed and insert a tenant into a property even while they are clutching a bunch of bad references, because the tenant has promised not to be a bad boy in future, or girl. How stupid is that? Bad references mean one of two things. Forget it, the preferred option, or insist upon a first class guarantor to sign the tenancy agreement, as well as the tenant.
Landlords may also experience problems because the property is not sufficiently well maintained. This policy is hard to figure out too. It may be a fact that generally properties are much better maintained than they were say twenty years ago, but there is still a swath of landlords who will not spend any money maintaining their property, ever. Talk about pulling hens teeth, and this is such a ridiculous attitude!
Imagine if you owned a manufacturing business that depended on the smooth running of the machinery and equipment for the business’s wellbeing. You’d have it regularly serviced right? So what is the difference with maintaining your own property? It belongs to you, it is your asset, and it is probably the biggest asset you will ever own. So why prevaricate when it comes to spending a little money ensuring that it is in full working order? That doesn’t make any sense at all, and as everyone knows, a small maintenance problem ignored today, will develop into a bigger and more expensive problem tomorrow. Deal with maintenance problems quickly, and you will always end up paying less for it in the long run
If you intend to embark on a career in property, make a pact with yourself that you will always carry out your business as professionally as any big city agency. If you are thinking of doing it on the cheap, by cutting corners and taking chances, then please don’t get involved at all. You’ll surely regret it. Taking risks and cutting corners is a sure-fire way of meeting disaster head on. Sooner or later your enterprise will slip into the mire of self-destruction and that will be fatal for your business. Remember the rule, total professionalism always. Anything less, and you’ll fail. Guaranteed.
David Carter has written many published articles. His latest work is SPLAM! Successful Property Letting & Management. This 240 page book looks at property letting starting out at finding properties. How to obtain them, how to gain the landlords trust, right through to letting and protecting ongoing lets. The book was written after 10 years successful property management, and after completing 1,000's of successful property deals. SPLAM was originally written for property people operating in Britain, but it is crammed with useful property information and ideas for property people everywhere. A bad tenant is a bad tenant whether they are in Wolverhampton, Winnipeg, Wichita, Wellington or Wagga Wagga! There is an extensive section on how to deal with problem tenancies, and more importantly, how to avoid them in the first place. This book is not marketed and remarketed by everyone this side of the Orinoco, it is only available online from David's publishers though it will soon be found at Amazon and in your local book stores. Check out http://www.splam.co.uk ISBN 1-4116-3444-6