Renting Horror Stories
In the last couple of weeks we’ve heard some real horror stories about tenants in various property to let in Liverpool. I thought I’d share a couple of quick stories then give you advice on how to avoid these pitfalls.
Problem – Not paying rent
Some of the most common and worst experiences involve this type of circumstance. Usually it’s a friend, maybe they’ve had some recent issues and need a house to let in Liverpool. You’re more open to them as prospective tenants, but take heed! We’ve heard horror stories from independent landlords about friends that only end up paying rent for the first couple of months, and then sneak away. You can sometimes be easily persuaded by people you know, as they imply the trust you need. The result is you skip over the must needed checks that are designed to protect you from this type of problem.
Don’t even think of missing out on credit checks! Please don’t forget to take a security deposit… It’s a mandatory requirement. This will ensure your prospective tenants are not only solvent enough to pay, but have an incentive. Another trick is ‘power distance’ (the further you remove yourself, the more power you have)! If you have a lettings agent collecting rent, they can be as nasty or as nice as needed. They can collect rent from friends, enforce the rules, and basically do all the nasty work without any fear of compromising your friendship.
Problem – Renting to family
On request of another family member, you decide to rent to a cousin or relation you’re not that close with. They wreck the house, may sell some fixtures and furniture, and destroy your reputation with neighbours. When they leave, you need some serious repairs before you can bring in another tenant. They talk to family members and persuaded them that the property was already in disrepair and use phrases along the lines of… “when we moved in, the place was already missing…”
The same resolution as above, checks, checks and more checks! You should always take detailed lists of the property fixtures, fittings, and previous damage. Walk round with the tenant and point these out to all interested parties. A lettings agent, will be vastly experienced at this and knows all the potential trouble spots. I can’t stress enough that letting agents just have an eye for these things, and will make sure the handover is watertight. They will also pull no punches! They won’t create any animosity between family and yourself, and will quickly be able to produce signed documents that can settle the disputes.
Problem - Pets In The Home
We know of animal lovers who once they’ve their own place, start collecting animals. You may have initially only agreed to an outside dog, but later down the line, you’re made aware of lot’s of dogs and cats. Sometimes they may alter your garden, extra fences, I’ve even heard of a basements full of animal cages, that they couldn’t possibly keep clean and smell free!
You must detail specific acceptable and unacceptable areas in the contract. You should have a keen dialogue with neighbours and if anything comes up, arrange a visit. Lettings agents will be able to give you air tight contracts which can include penalties for unacceptable additions to the property and unwanted animals.
Basically, you need to smart when renting out your property! A property management company can take away the hassle and be as involved as much or as little as you wish.