To stay on top of things, especially when it comes to your rented property, it is vital to think ahead. So, we have come up with a few tips to help you plan your strategy for 2018.
Inspections play an important part in any landlord’s calendar, these are a must if you want to protect your property an ensure your tenant is living within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.
Pre-scheduling these at the beginning of the year can be useful. If they are not diarised in advance they have the potential to be overlooked or for the tenant to find them ill-timed and intrusive. Advance planning will enable you to secure mutually convenient dates throughout the year, ensuring that both you and your tenant are present during these vital visits.
Our advice would be to carry out inspections on either quarterly or half-yearly basis and that you give a written advance notice to the tenant.
Unfortunately, many of us have a reactive positioning to maintenance as far as our rental property is concerned. Whereas we annually carry out MOTs on our cars that cost a fraction of our properties un usually depreciates in value. We mustn’t forget that any property is one of the biggest investments we will ever make and it is important that its welfare is approached in a similar way.
Think seasonally about what will need addressing in winter and what could be done in the summer.
Forward planning is also advantageous in that you will be able to secure the contractors of your choice plus, if your tenant is planning an extended holiday, it may be possible to coordinate your routine maintenance to coincide with this which will allow for unlimited access and minimise disruption for the tenant.
- Financial thoughts
Make sure your finances add up in 2018
It makes sense to keep track of any mortgages you may have. Something that may have been a good deal when you applied for your mortgage, for example, may not be so attractive once the initial discounted period has expired. Know when your mortgage is due for renewal, thoroughly research the market, know what’s out there and be aware of your eligibility.
As part of your financial review it’s also important to monitor the levels of rental return other properties are achieving in the area in which your property is located, do get an up to date rental valuation from a local Letting Agent if need be. It’s useful to keep an eye on this so you can ensure that your own property’s rental price is moving with market forces and is fulfilling its full potential.
Regular small increases which are scheduled in advance are likely to be less disruptive to a tenant than a single unexpected large one.
- Portfolio plan
Investing in property is a journey and if you’re starting a portfolio (or growing one) in 2018 it’s vital to start off with a defined idea of what you’re looking to achieve, what your strategy will be, how you are going to do it. Like any journey, if you set off without knowing your destination you’ll very soon get lost… plus you’ll never know when you actually get there.
It’s also essential to have a timeline in terms of how and when you’re going to acquire the next property, plus when, if at all, you’re likely to release each investment too.
Additionally, pre-preparing for portfolio expansion enables you to monitor your favoured residential areas in order for you to identify those properties that will give you the best yield and potential for capital growth.
- Know your tenant
Having a good relationship with your Tenant is very important, as it will allow you to work together with cooperation and understanding. says Vaughan. It can also be very helpful for self-managing landlords to find out what their tenant’s plans and aspirations are for 2018.
Is your tenant intending to stay on at the property? If not, when are they looking to leave?
Knowing answers to key questions such as these allows a landlord to pre-plan their marketing strategy and start remarketing the property at the earliest opportunity.
If your tenant is planning to leave the property in 2018, also find out the reason why. Often tenants move on because of a change in personal circumstances or relationship status but it’s beneficial to make sure their move isn’t motivated by issues with the property which you need to address.