Redstones Lettings

6 Common Mistakes Made By New Landlords

The buy-to-let sector is full of pitfalls, especially for new (and sometimes experienced) landlords.  At Redstones we are regularly approached by new clients who have faced a number of challenges when ‘going it alone’ with their property management. These are some of the most common mistakes:-

Failing to secure tenant deposits

Many new landlords aren’t aware of their obligation to secure the deposit received from their tenants in an authorised deposit scheme.  This can have serious legal implications as the deposit must be secured within 30 days of receipt and a tenant can prosecute a landlord for negligence in this matter.  It can also affect their ability to evict a troublesome tenant at a later stage.

Using an unregulated lettings agent (or going it alone)

Don’t choose your lettings agent based on a convenient location or a big shop front.  Do your research.  Look online, ask for customer references, find out what makes them different, ensure they are members of relevant industry bodies.  Our previous blog on the signs of an unethical lettings agent provides more information on this matter. Before choosing a lettings agent, we recommend you vet them fully to prevent problems further down the line.   At Redstones, we offer a Switch Agents programme for landlords who are unhappy with their level of service from their current lettings agent. If you choose to manage your property yourself, it is also important to be aware of the potential problems that may arise.

Failing to vet tenants

This is essential if you intend to manage your property yourself.  If you do not carry out in-depth background checks on your prospective tenants, you are not able to make an informed decision about whether or not they are suitable.  Reference checks will reveal any problems with previous landlords or failure to make regular payment.  To be sure, carry out a credit check as well as requesting a reference from a previous landlord. At Redstones, we carry out this service for all of our landlords for their peace of mind.

Failing to complete a property inventory

A property inventory is crucial to ensure there is no ambiguity about ownership of various items, especially in a partly-furnished or fully furnished property. At Redstones, our comprehensive property management service includes carrying out a full property inventory prior to commencement of the tenancy agreement.

Forgetting property inspections

Property inspections are vital for landlords to assess the tenant’s treatment of their property.  At Redstone we recommend periodic inspections agreed in advance with the tenant.  We also carry out property inspections for our landlords for their peace of mind.

Failing to insure themselves

There is no compulsory requirement for UK landlords to take out insurance, although it is highly recommended, whether it is buildings insurance, public liability or contents insurance.  At Redstones we understand how overwhelming the issue of insurance can be for new landlords getting to grips with a whole new business venture.  Our soon-to-be-launched Redstones Financial division will offer advice to our clients on a range of financial issues, including the most appropriate insurance for their property.

Redstones provides a range of lettings services to suit the needs of all landlords.  For more information on our services and how we can work together contact us today.