Six Money-Saving Tips for Landlords
Being a landlord isn’t always simple. While on paper it can seem relatively quick and easy to generate some profits from one of the most valuable assets you own, there’s a lot that goes into making things work.
In essence, successful landlords must treat their properties like a business that needs to make money and run smoothly in order to survive.
This doesn’t mean being cold-hearted or unfeeling towards your tenants, but staying on top of your landlord activities and making sure you’re not losing money anywhere you don’t need to. Further to this, the only way you’ll be able to keep offering tenants a great place to live is if you keep your property well managed and maintained.
With a few strategies and best practices, there are many ways to cut costs during property management and focus on other areas of your life. From a quick and diligent schedule of condition report to ongoing checks and maintenance, we explore six money-saving tips for landlords.
Regularly Review and Maintain
A schedule of condition is typically a process that records the exact state and condition of your property and any key appliances that come with it. Sometimes known as a condition report or a condition review, property owners use this when letting properties to make sure that everything is accounted for at a specific point in time.
While this can be a tedious task to perform manually, it’s crucial to staying on top of things and not losing money where you don’t have to. For instance, by checking every six months or so how your property is doing, you’ll be able to spot any damage or deterioration before it gets worse.
Damp or leaks in flooring can quickly turn into very expensive problems, and in some cases will require you to pause the tenancy while you get workers in to fix any subsidence in ceilings or dry rot and damp proofing walls.
Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario, but by making this a routine task, you’re guaranteeing you don’t have to pay out large sums of money for repairs at a time that don't suit you.
If you are working with a property management agency, get them to schedule regular visits to the property and update you about the condition of certain high-risk items such as cracks in walls, leaking drains, soffits or cladding or the flooring beneath a bath that is more likely to have water damage.
Regularly Review and Maintain
Do you work with specific service providers such as plumbers, electricians or handymen? Or do you handle everything through an agent for a fixed price? Either way, it’s important to remember that the market is always changing and going rates for certain jobs and activities are always rising and falling.
If you’re savvy enough, this presents an opportunity to negotiate with your service providers to get a better deal. Remember though, it’s easier to negotiate with people you have a strong foundational relationship with. Also, trusting someone you have existing experience with is sometimes safer and more cost-effective in the long-run than changing to a short-term cheaper solution just because they offer you a better price.
The most important thing is to get the quality of service you need for an affordable price. And if peace of mind is paramount for you, it can be worth staying with people who are slightly more expensive because you can trust them to get the job done consistently well.
Regularly Review and Maintain
For new landlords or those who are new to lettings and have no previous experience about handling a rental property, there are a lot of rules and regulations to follow. Check out the government guides How to Rent and tenant/landlords Rights and Responsibilities. The rules are there to protect both renters and landlords.
This ensures you are 100% compliant with regulations and prevents you from being hit with a fine or penalty. If you’re completely aligned with the rules, you’ll also find that relationships with tenants are more “professional” and less “personal”. This keeps things cordial and lets everyone know where they stand.
Streamline the Process
Always look for ways to streamline the management process. At Reports2Go, we offer a range of solutions specially designed for landlords and managing agents so that their time usage is more efficient and productive when handling everything from inventory taking to schedules of condition.
Gary, 02 April 2021
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