Living as a Landlord: Tips for Making Your Life Easier



Being a landlord can be fun and rewarding. But, it can also be a real pain. One of the unfortunate aspects of being a landlord is you deal with unruly tenants and unexpected repairs. Here’s how successful landlords have made their own way and what you can do to be successful while reducing stress.

Pick Low Cost, High-Quality Tenants

If you’re giving furniture to tenants, don’t forget to check charity or used shops. The British Heart Foundation has furniture you can buy very inexpensively. They also have electrical shops where you can often get great prices for a few pounds. Older pieces are more solid (usually), and they tend to last longer than more modern flat-pack or cheaply-made furniture and electronics.

Good tenants are ones that pay their rent on time. Of course, you don’t always know how to sort these tenants out before you accept them. But, one way is to use a service offered through http://www.bridgfords.co.uk/forsaleoffice/harrogate/334/ to screen your tenants and let an agent do the heavy lifting for you. If you hire a property manager, keep in mind you have to pay them for the service, which may reduce your profit.

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Get It White

Paint interiors a neutral colour, and use a limited palette. This way, you can buy tins of one or two paints and not spend a lot of money. Not only will this save you money, it makes the property look more spacious and brighter. Plus, you don’t really know the tastes of the tenant. Going with a neutral colour eliminates the need to try to guess what you should be doing colour-wise or how to please the new tenants.

You’ll also be able to colour match with the leftover paint just in case you need to do touch up work. And, since neutral colours tend to never go out of style, and are always in stock, you never worry about not being able to find your colour in the future.

Paint Quality

Make sure you get the wipe-clean kind, and keep a note of the brand and colour you used. It makes cleaning easier in the future if you have a problem with tenants and have to clean up after them or need to figure out how to touch up damage somewhere in the apartment. Even white paint comes in different shades, like “cotton” and “mist” or “moonlight” and “cream.”

Lighting

Put in bright lights before tenants look around. Pick bulbs that have a high lumen count. A quick and easy way to ensure a vibrant first impression is to use 2500K bulbs. LEDs work best for energy-efficiency. If you do install LED bulbs, you can advertise that fact and the fact they will save money due to the high-efficiency bulbs.

Buying Insurance Online

Get your landlording insurance online. The process is pretty simple, and you choose the cover you need. You can create a tailored policy, and then get copies for your own files afterwards. You’ll want to store these in an easy-to-find location. Most landlords store them digitally.

Tax Breaks

Rather than scrambling around to get everything together at the end of the year for self-assessment, keep your receipts and a running tally of your expenses. Remember your taxable profit is calculated at the end of the tax year, but you can deduct ‘allowable expenses’ like letting agents’ and accountants’ fees. If you hire a property manager, don’t forget to deduct those fees as well. So, even though you lose profit from the service, you at least get a tax break for it.

Sharing

Keeping the same tenants is cheaper and much simpler than having a high turnover. Many landlords struggle with this, and they end up going through a lot of different tenants. But, not only is this wickedly expensive, it’s time-consuming. Regular catchups with your tenants help you iron out issues they’re having with living conditions in the property and give you the opportunity to make good on promises you made to fix and repair problems and to do regular maintenance.

Emma Harris worked in the real estate world for years, before giving that up, raising her family, and finally moving into property investment. She writes about the housing market, financing a home and property investment in her articles which appear around the web.