It may seem that it is all doom and gloom in the news if you are a landlord, however there is light at the end of the tunnel!
This could be due in part to a new project by the Residential Landlords Association, who are spearheading a campaign to persuade the government to remove the restrictions to long term tenancies, including restrictions imposed on landlords by lenders and by lease freeholders.
This is positive news for landlords, allowing you to settle with a tenant and build a strong, long-term relationship - avoiding the upheaval and cost of advertising your property, and potentially missing out on rental income.
However, it is important to remember that if a tenant is going to be in your property long term, you need to make sure you lay out some solid ‘ground rules’ from the beginning.
Thorough referencing is vital regardless of the length of tenancy, however if your tenant is planning a long term let, you should definitely make sure you know as much about them as possible before you sign any legal agreements.
A good referencing check will help you ascertain that your prospective tenant can afford your property, and will mean that hopefully you are not left out of pocket due to unpaid rent! Of course, no reference can take into account unforeseen circumstances, however it is good to start from a solid footing if you can!
Most referencing checks will also allow you the option of checking a prior landlord reference wherever possible. This is a great option to get an idea if your prospective tenant has had a problem renting previously, and can prove to be a great character reference.
Make sure you have a concise inventory, clearly explaining what constitutes the difference between 'fair wear and tear' and damage.
When you create you inventory, you could even itemise the fixtures and fittings in the property, each with a clear price listed against them for replacement. This would give your tenant a view from the start of the tenancy the price of damage in the property.
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