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Posted on June 2, 2014

Let it Wright… 

From starting my advice columns exactly one year ago, I thought I’d give a quick recap of what I’ve mentioned over the months and the dos and don’ts when looking for a property. 

Landlords; remember to keep your standards high; decorating your property with neutral colours is always a good factor. It allows potential tenants to incorporate their own bits of furniture no matter what the colour. Keep it clean; a dirty house will not help you get people in there, and no matter how nicely your asset is decorated, an unclean floor, or grubby dishes in the sink will do you no favours.

As a landlord, you know that with every property you own, you run the risk of potential rent default by your tenant. Even the best credit checks and references cannot predict a tenant falling on hard times. If your tenant was to lose their job, get divorced, or fail to vacate the property at the end of the agreement, would you be able to cover your expenditure?

Trying to recover rental arrears can often be difficult and usually very expensive, without any definite guarantee of success, but there is an easy way to protect your rental income; Rental Guarantee Insurance (RGI). With RGI, the scheme usually covers all rental income in the event of a non-payment by your tenant.

Moving on to tenants advice; if you are looking to move in to a rental property for the first time, you probably won’t be aware that you may be stung with very high, hidden charges by the provider. These are often hidden within lengthy contracts, but sometimes, not mentioned at all.

It should be expected by the tenant to pay an initial administration fee, which can vary depending on the agent. When you sign an agreement, many agencies will not tell you that once it is time to renew your lease, you need to pay yet another administration fee. Along with renewal fees, there is also a hidden check out fee, whereby the agency/landlord will charge you for vacating the premises too. Remember to ask what all the fees will be upfront so you can budget for them before signing any legal documents.

Finally, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, when looking for a letting agency to either let a property from or manage your portfolio of properties, try and go with an agent that is registered by ARLA; Association of Residential Letting Agents. ARLA is a professional membership and regulatory body for letting agents and agencies in the UK.

An ARLA membership is only achieved by agents who demonstrate that they have a thorough knowledge of their profession, and can conduct their business according to best management practice. As we are governed by ARLA, you can rest assured that your property is in safe hands, and that we go about our business of letting properties in a professional, organised and a fully certified way.

So that’s it for now, but please feel free to contact me on 0191 214 59 59 or with any property queries you may have….Kerrie