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Landlord Nightmares… and how to avoid them

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Wed 20 Oct 2021

Landlord Nightmares… and how to avoid them


Halloween is just around the corner, so this week we are looking at issues that give landlords cold sweats…and how you can avoid them.


The Vanishing Rent

The tenants are settled in and everything’s going well…until the rent doesn’t appear.  Everything goes quiet, there’s no response from the tenants.  Days turn into weeks and the mortgage and other expenses are still due on the property.  Help!

How to avoid it:

Tenant referencing is so important and will look at an applicant’s affordability, reliability of income and if they have any issues such as CCJs or bankruptcy.  Landlord’s insurance with rent guarantee is another way to ensure peace of mind should a tenant’s circumstances change that affects their ability to pay the rent.  But by doing due diligence before the tenancy begins, and then building up a good relationship with the tenants usually off-sets the probability of the rent suddenly not being paid.  In reality, the vast majority of tenants prioritise their rent and make payment on time.


·House of Spirits

The tenancy’s begun, but it turns out that the tenant’s behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.  The neighbours start complaining, the property isn’t being kept in a good condition or the people in the property don’t appear to be the same as the ones who moved in.  Argh!

How to avoid it:

Again, due diligence before the tenancy begins pays dividends and referencing tenants at the beginning can save nightmares down the line as red flags are brought to light.  Having a robust tenancy agreement that clearly outlines the tenants’ full responsibilities also makes expectations clear.  A reputable letting agent will be able to offer this as part of their service, alongside property visits and handling any tenant issues.


The Boiler Goes Bump in the Night

The phone rings in the middle of the night.  The tenants are calling with an emergency maintenance issue.  As a landlord you have an obligation to provide a tenant with a safe property and access to heating and hot water, but it’s dark and cold and who can you call?

How to avoid it:

Having access to reliable contractors can make a huge difference to being able to deal with maintenance issues.  Keeping the property in good repair by inspecting regularly and tending to routine maintenance can help prevent issues from escalating.  However, having a letting agent manage maintenance for you also ensures you’re not the one disturbed in the middle of the night.


·A House Possessed

The time has come to want your property back again, whether because it hasn’t worked out with the current tenants, because of a change to your personal circumstances or simply to free up the investment in the property by selling.  But there’s been an error with the paperwork and the tenants are staying put.

How to avoid it:

Ensuring that the tenancy agreement robust and the tenancy is started in line with The Deregulation Act 2015 is fundamental to regaining possession of a residential property, as is serving notice on a tenant in the correct way.  These requirements are subject to change and a getting it right can make the difference between being awarded possession or not.  Using a reputable letting agent will ensure these processes are in place.


All of these ways of these potential horror stories are rare and can be preventable, especially with the help of a good letting agent.  As a landlord don’t have nightmares – let Brittons let for you.