Landlord-tenant relationship

Be accessible: Make sure your tenants can reach you by phone or email if that’s more convenient, should they need to. Responding to requests promptly will help tenants feel heard and supported.

Give advance notice – As the property owner, you may feel you need to be able to visit regularly to make sure everything is in order. Keep in mind, however, that while it’s your home, it’s your tenants’ home, and it’s not wise to enter the property without their permission for any reason. The law states that you must give the tenant reasonable notice (considered to be at least 24 hours) if he needs to see the property.

Be fair: It’s natural for items to break with wear and tear. If this happens, consider if the item was old and needed to be replaced anyway. If so, it may be your responsibility to replace the item, not the tenant. Similarly, it is important to convey to the tenant what breakages they will be responsible for in the lease, with costs if possible.

Property Maintenance – Make sure you do your duty to tenants by fixing problems as soon as they occur. Communication is important here. If your tenants feel they can’t come to you with a problem or a breakage, they may try to fix the problem themselves and make it worse, or leave a problem too long, which could make the problem worse.

The importance of adequate insurance: It is not necessary to have specific homeowners insurance, but it is definitely worth considering as there are a host of benefits. Some companies offer Legal Expenses Coverage which gives you financial peace of mind should a dispute with tenants lead to legal action, as well as coverage for any malicious damage or vandalism by tenants. It’s also worth looking into providers that offer optional rent guarantee coverage that protects you in the event your tenant defaults on rent. This may also give you the peace of mind to take on a tenant that may seem less ideal, financially speaking, in the first place.

EPC: Each property must be rented with an Energy Efficiency Certificate. EPCs also include an estimate of property size, which can be helpful when comparing properties. As a homeowner, ideally you want a highly rated property or one that is easy to increase energy efficiency. If you have a good EPC rating (within A to C) this should attract potential tenants as it means lower heating bills. New builds should be rated A and the worst properties will be those without attic insulation, double glazing or cavity walls.

You can organize your EPC by choosing an energy consultant from or your leasing agent should be able to do it for you. Property management companies such as Insured Properties have included this in services for landlords. When buying, check that you can use the provider’s EPC.

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