Letting agents are urging long-distance landlords to make sure they follow six basic renting rules to avoid hassle with tenants.
The tips follow a survey by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) which revealed up to two-thirds of property investors letting homes in London live outside the capital.
How far landlords live from their investments varies around the country – 70% of landlords with homes to let in Scotland live away, while the figure drops to just over 50% in the South West and Wales.
ARLA’s top tips for landlords are:
- Research the neighbourhood to ensure rents asked for are competitive
- Agree a detailed inventory with tenants to aid infrequent inspections
- Find a local representative – a letting agent or someone you can trust to deal with tenants
- Keep a list of good local contractors – a ‘rate my contractor’ web site is a good place to start
- Check tenant and guarantor references thoroughly
- Keep spare keys – a key safe at the property and spares with your representative make replacing lost keys easy
ARLA’s Ian Potter said, “It is a common for landlords to let properties in different parts of the country and it is likely that trend will grow as owners increasingly opt to let out a property rather than sell when the time comes to move on, or when parents who’ve bought a student property choose to continue renting it out when their child has left university.
“Anyone who owns property away from their home town should be mindful of the challenges that long-distance lettings can pose if not effectively managed. Letting through a professional, local agent can be the best first step to ensuring your property is efficiently managed and as hassle-free as possible, but whether you chose to let with or without an agency, there are some important issues to consider.”