Do you manage your own property? If yes, then when was the last time you have visited it. Are you sure your tenant is taking care of your property?
It would seem regular visits are now more important than ever as the Chairman of the AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks), Pat Barber, says: ‘We are seeing a rise in the number of bad tenants and have been shocked by the damage and neglect we have found in properties and their grounds.”
It is vital that you carry out regular checks. Properties managed by our agency are visited twice during the first six months period. The first visit takes place about a month after the tenant moved in and then 3 months later. If no problems are found then the following visits happen every six months. But most importantly, if we do find a problem, we asked the tenant to address it and we do revisit the property to make sure the issues has been rectified.
The warning is out there for all landlords who think that as long as the rent is paid on time and they do not hear from the tenant all is fine. Well, you could be very wrong, as it turns out. I have a first hand experience of it. My neighbor, who lives abroad, rented his house to a single mother with a child. They were living there for a few years. At some point they moved out and I had a chance to catch up with the owner (who came back to check the property). I have heard the story of the tenant not reporting issues to the landlord which in turn caused him a great deal of expense to put right.
So, whether you think you have good tenants or not, whether they pay rent on time or not and whether your tenant leaves you in peace do not put off regular inspections in your rented house. And under no circumstances allow the tenant to carry out any repairs in the property. Most people know nothing or very little about maintenance and the outcome of such ‘jobs’ could prove very costly to put right.
Worth noting is that even if everything is perfect right now it may change. We had such a situation with one of our tenants few years ago. They were perfect tenants all the way until the very end. However, at the very end their financial situation deteriorated very badly and to the point they had hardly any money to put food on the table. This in turn turned them from a very nice and polite to what I can only describe as ‘nasty’. The property was not in too bad state but the landlord ended up having to pay them for removal van as they were making threats to ‘wreck the property’ and not to move out.
[Image courtesy of graur codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net