Focus on the little things

Focus on the little things

Author and African American civil rights leader Booker T. Washington once said: “Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than the large things…”

This is a quote as relevant today as it was when he said it over a century ago. And it’s one that landlords should keep in mind when running their letting business.

Being a landlord can be stressful and time consuming, particularly when you’re trying to find a new tenant. But it’s also stressful for tenants trying to find somewhere to live. In fact, it’s a common belief that moving house is one of life’s most stressful events.

The Government has released new How to Let, How to Rent a Safe Home, and How to Lease guides to advise on best practice, which you can find here.  We’ve also come up with some tips to make life easier for your tenant and for you!

  1. Create a to-do list

This is probably one of the easiest and most helpful things you can do. Think about all the things you need to do to prepare for a new tenant. Do you have your EPC certificate? Is your gas safety certificate due for renewal? Has the Government updated the How to Rent guide? (Answer to the last question, yes it has. You can find the latest version here).

Be as detailed as possible. While breaking it down into smaller items may result in a longer list, it’s definitely satisfying to see everything crossed off.

  1. Get everything in writing

While face-to-face communications are nicer and far more personal, email does have its benefits. Having all communications in writing means you can be certain of what has been agreed. And you can refer back to it if you forget something, like the time the hopeful tenant wants to do a viewing. It will also result in fewer emails and greater clarity – just what you and the tenant want.

  1. Be thorough

Getting all of the details right on the tenancy agreement is one of the most basic things a landlord should do. Not doing this will not fill your new tenant with confidence in your ability to manage the property. Most tenancy agreements are pretty standard and will only require a few details added or amended. Take your time when doing this and, especially if you start going cross-eyed towards the end, have a break and re-read it with fresh eyes. That way you can be certain it’s correct and your tenant will be able to sign it straight away.

These tips may seem pretty basic, but they will make a difference. Communication and trust are two key elements of any relationship – this is no different. By getting the small things right, you can ensure those elements are alive and well in your relationship with your tenant.

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