One of the key things that landlords need to be able to handle is the creation of robust tenancy agreements that offer them all of the protection they need, in addition to ensuring their tenants are happy when they take up occupancy in their rental properties. This can often be difficult to implement, especially for new landlords who don’t have prior experience in renting property or in creating such agreements. The following simple tips should help you to create a strong tenancy agreement that will ensure that everybody is happy.
Keep Initial Fixed Terms Short
Unless you personally know the person who will be moving into the property that you’re renting, it is a good idea to keep the first, fixed term tenancy period fairly short. The industry standard is six months before a re-evaluation, so this should make a good starting point. Doing this will prevent you from committing to a tenant for a long period of time, which gives you the freedom to rent the property out again should the tenant prove troublesome.
Cover Payments Specifically
In addition to outlining the amount of money you expect as a rent payment, and whether this will be paid every four weeks or per calendar month, you also need to outline exactly what that rent payment will cover. For example, some landlords may be happy to pay for water and other utilities out of the rent payment, whereas others prefer to place this responsibility on the tenant. Make sure that you are completely clear so there can be no room for misinterpretation.
Prepare An Inventory
Before allowing somebody to move into one of your properties, you should create a detailed inventory that notes everything of importance within the property and any areas of concern. It should cover everything from carpets and walls, through to light and power fixtures. Ideally, you will check over this inventory with the prospective tenant and gain agreement that everything on the list is accurate. Your inventory also gives you something to check against when the tenant eventually leaves the property, allowing you to spot damages that weren’t there before.
The Right Type of Agreement
There are a number of different types of tenancy agreement, depending on how you will be renting the property out. For example, renting out to a sole tenant in a property you own will require a different type of agreement than if you are letting to a limited company or rooms in a shared house. Understand exactly what you need, as drafting the wrong type of agreement will waste your time and leave you unprotected.
Work With Professionals
Working with a lettings agent, such as Hills Estate, and a property solicitor will offer you the benefit of knowledge and experience from professionals who can ensure you draft agreements that suit your needs and property type. You should also be wary of amending your tenancy agreements without help, as small changes could have big ramifications for your rights as a landlord, especially if you have failed to take into account the regulations surrounding the changes you want to make.