Being a landlord is not an easy job – once you have found a suitable tenant, who has managed to settle in, you cannot just kick back, relax, and wait for the rental income to pour in. Instead, you need to keep tabs on the property and the tenant, and continue to manage the entire letting process. This can either be done privately, or with the help of a letting agent.
Privately managing a property you have rented out is a challenging task. Landlords have a variety of responsibilities as far as the upkeep of a rental property is concerned – they are required to ensure fire, gas, and electrical safety, manage the upkeep of the water and sanitary system, make sure there is ample heating and hot water, and undertake any repairs that are needed on the property. In addition, if a tenant is disabled, the landlord is required to make adjustments to cater to him/her. In short, maintenance is one of the main factors that need to be taken care of when managing the letting.
The major thing that can make the entire process of renting out difficult is a bad tenant. A tenant who does not take care of the house/apartment, damages the property, does not adhere to the rules you have laid down, and does not pay rent on time is a landlord’s worst nightmare, and dealing with this sort of trouble can be quite taxing. The main thing you need to remember is that you can give the tenant a fair few warnings, and even evict him/her if s/he fails to comply with your demands. In order to keep tabs on the situation, you will need to conduct regular inspections – e.g. you can go to pick up the rent personally every month, so you can look everything over.
If the hassle of managing the letting is not for you, you can consider hiring a letting agent to take care of all these tasks. It is best to hire a letting agent who has been recommended by someone you trust, but if this is not possible, make sure you pick the most experienced one. Read the agent’s contract carefully, to determine which services s/he will be providing. Generally, agents will deal with any inquiries or concerns the tenants might have, manage the rent payment receipt, look after the maintenance of the property, and conduct inspections on a regular basis, to ensure the upkeep of the property.