The learning curve never ends, so being a landlord is another learning opportunity. Here are some common mistakes landlords make, learn them so you can avoid them.
Common mistakes many landlords make
1. Not leaving enough time for marketing
Many landlords believe that tenants only begin searching for a new property just before their move-out date. However, the majority of tenants start their property search even before they have given notice on their current rental property. As such, it is essential that landlords get their property onto the market as quickly as possible. As a general guide, start marketing your property two months before it is available. Does your existing tenancy agreement allow for this? Update the remarketing clause in your tenancy agreement accordingly. This will allow you to show the property to prospective tenants in the last two months of a tenancy. Voids are costly so make sure you are taking full advantage of marketing time to minimise voids.
2. Not valuing first impressions
First impressions are not necessarily gained on viewing the property, they are made online. This is particularly true during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic where many areas are under nationwide lockdown restrictions. As such, make sure that new, relevant and high-quality photos are taken before putting the property on the market. Keep in mind that photos of the exterior of the property should be in the relevant season. Next, consider how the interior of the property looks. Refresh the décor and give the property a facelift before taking any pictures. Make an effort to stage the property to look as attractive as possible to potential tenants.
3. Not responding to tenants
As highlighted earlier, voids are costly. Having a good relationship with your tenants will result in tenants that want to stay. As such, accommodating requests from tenants can help to maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship in the long term. One of the best ways to keep tenants happy is to always respond to their enquiries.
4. Self-managing rental property
As a landlord, you have an obligation to keep the property in good repair and working order. This entails responding to requests from tenants in a reasonable timeframe. Moreover, all tenant requests need to be responded to in a professional way. This is where professional property management comes in handy. Your tenants will demand a high level of service for the rent they are paying. With this in mind, respond quickly to any queries or problems. Engaging a professional property management service will enable you to take a backseat and minimise your stress.
5. Skimping on insurance
Not getting enough insurance coverage is one of the first mistakes many new landlords make. If you do not get the right type of insurance coverage or don’t get the right amount of coverage, you could find yourself in quite a predicament should anything go wrong. Ensure that you have the right types of insurance coverage for the property.
6. Not sufficiently screening tenants
Another common mistake that landlords make is not screening tenants properly. Whether you are leasing to a friend or relative, enforce a solid screening process. This is critical to help you avoid any potential tenant nightmares in the future. Failure to properly screen tenants could lead to lost income and incurring vacancy expenses.