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As a landlord, you’ll be aware that there are lots of things to consider when renting out a property, especially with the never-ending list of legal requirements regarding rental properties. If you are a self-managing landlord, we recommend reading this blog post to see how are you performing as a landlord. Check to see if you are falling short of your tenant’s expectations. Make sure you do doing what is required of you by law.

Below are the top 10 mistakes made by self-managing Landlords in London.

  1. Not providing cleaning equipment

Even when properties are rented out furnished, it’s not often that a landlord will provide a vacuum cleaner and other cleaning equipment in a rental property. But, in our opinion, this is a must.

Not all tenants will have their own hoover. You don’t need to buy a Dyson, but providing a quality vacuum cleaner is a good way to encourage your tenants to clean the property.

Some landlords will even pay for a cleaner to visit the property once a week or every two weeks, just to make sure that it’s kept looking nice and it’s in a reasonable state at the end of the tenancy. Tenants will be more likely to look after the property if you send a cleaner in each week as they know everything will be reported back to you, the landlord.

  1. Buying the cheapest furniture you can find

We get it. You’re not living in the property, so why would you spend money furnishing it? However, if you’re hoping to attract higher-paying tenants, or if you don’t want to replace cheap furniture after one or two tenancies, spend a bit more on better-quality items that will last longer and look nicer.

  1. Not checking if the furniture is fire resistant

As a UK landlord, you’re required by law to ensure all the furniture in your rental property is fire resistant. Make sure you check all existing furniture for the label that states if the item is fire resistant.

If an item is not fire resistant, then it’s illegal to put it in your rental property. You could face imprisonment if there is a death resulting from a fire that is caused by the substandard furniture. It will also make your insurance invalid if there is a fire, so it’s very important to check that most landlords cannot be bothered to do.

  1. Not refreshing the paintwork often enough

One of the most common requests tenants have when agreeing to the terms of a tenancy is for the landlord to carry out a simple paint job before they move in.

While this may be a bit of a headache, it will benefit you in the long term if you keep the property looking clean and fresh. It may also rent more quickly next time it comes on the market.

  1. Installing inadequate ventilation in bathrooms

Mould and peeling paint are a common sight in rental properties, often because the bathroom isn’t properly ventilated after bathing or showering.

As a landlord, you should ensure that there is sufficient ventilation to avoid the build-up of damp and mould. Make sure there is an extractor fan that is appropriately sized for the room and that the window will open enough to let air circulate.

If the bathroom doesn’t have a window, you are required by law to install an extractor fan.

  1. Ignoring your tenant’s requests

Some requests from your tenants may be unreasonable in your opinion, but spending a bit of money to keep them happy will help to keep your relationship a positive one.

If a tenant is happy with their home, they’re more likely to take greater care and may even spend their own money improving the property.

  1. Mismanaging the property

Perhaps you don’t live in the UK all year round, or you’re away on business a lot. If so, these situations can make managing your rental property a problem.

Understandably, your tenants expect a high level of service when they’re paying rent, so it’s important to make sure that you keep on top of what’s happening and respond quickly to any queries or problems.

If you don’t have enough time to manage the property yourself and need a helping hand, you should consider paying for a professional Property Management service that will allow you to take a back seat.

   

  1. Not installing fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in your rental property as required by law.

It’s illegal to not provide them, although changing batteries is the responsibility of your tenants after the tenancy has started. You must instruct your tenants to make you aware if the alarms are faulty, as it is your responsibility to replace them as soon as possible. You could face a fine up to £5,000 if you fail to install the alarms or replace faulty ones.

  1. Disregarding the importance of gas safety certificates

A gas safety certificate must be obtained for your rental property every 12 months to show that the gas appliances are safe to use.

You also have to keep a record of all the checks and be able to provide them at the start of each new tenancy.

You will usually be sent reminder letters that are likely to go to the address of your rental property and not your own, so you must keep note of when the last one was carried out and organise any upcoming checks with your tenants.

  1. Ignoring energy efficiency regulations

From April 2018, all rental properties must have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E.

If your rental property doesn’t reach this minimum required level and you fail to improve its rating, you could face a fine and eventually be banned from letting the property.

If you are struggling to self-manage your property, why not hire a management company to do all the hard work for you? At J Property Management, we not only make sure you are meeting all legal requirements but we also respond to all owner and tenant messages within 24 hours so you can trust that you will always be able to contact us and will always know what is going on with your property.