While we all know that it is important for all landlords to have a watertight legal contract in place to fall back on should anything happen to their property, how can we actually make sure that tenants do not breach the rules of their tenancy?
With new research showing that one in seven renters have broken one or more rules outlined in their tenancy agreement, leaving them potentially facing anything from the loss of their deposit to eviction, Direct Line for Business has outlined its top tips for landlords to ensure that tenants stick to the rules of their contract:
+ Be clear from the outset: Ensure that your adverts clearly state any rules that you feel strongly about – for example looking for non-smoking or pet-free tenants only.
+ Have it agreed in writing: It is imperative to have a written tenancy agreement for your tenants. Not only will they be legally required to pay rent, but it will also clearly outline what is and what isn’t allowed in the property. It’s a good idea to go through all of the clauses and penalties with the tenants before they sign the agreement to ensure that they are clear on the rules of the tenancy.
+ Maintain dialogue with your tenants: You are within your rights to make scheduled visits to your property to ensure it is being maintained to a level that was agreed in the contract. This will also ensure that tenants look after your property, and dissuade them from breaking the rules too much.
+ Don’t go overboard: Try not to make too many rules. Keep it simple. Establish a trusting, positive relationship with the tenant as they’ll be even more likely to stick to the rules.
+ Accept that you may need to be flexible: If you have good tenants in your property for a length of time who make a request to get a pet, you may want to consider a compromise. Keeping the value of your property is one thing, but this may be offset by the time and cost of finding new tenants if it becomes a deal breaker.