If you are a landlord with one or more properties in your portfolio, you may very well be looking forward to your holidays this summer. You may have already even booked them. Holidays give you that all important break from your responsibilities. Or do they?
As a landlord it is important to think of what would happen to your properties or your tenants if some disaster were to befall your property in your absence.
1. Make sure that you notify your tenants (in writing and in advance) of your annual leave. Make sure to give them dates of your departure and return.
2. Make sure that your tenants have the details of an emergency contact who they can call if there is an issue while you are away. Of course the best way to ensure your holidays are truly relaxing is to have your rental property managed. Your property manager would serve as a point of contact for your tenants for all things and at all times, not just during your holidays. Sometimes tenants do call with mundane requests that are actually their responsibility as tenants to address, like replacing a blown lightbulbs for example. Having a property manager who is well aware of the division of tenant/landlord responsibility can mean that your precious time is not wasted.
3. If you do have a property manager who handles all your tenants issues from small to big, then notify the property manager that you will be away and give them contact details for major emergencies. To keep from being disturbed too often you may want to keep your contact with your property manager to e-mail or text correspondence. Consider checking your e-mail at a certain time and relaying that set time to the property manager, that way the property manager can tell the tenant exactly when they can expect a response.
If you don’t use a property manager then you will need to ensure the emergency contact has the name and address of each tenant. They will also need to know how to gain entry to the property if necessary, but be sure they realise that they can’t enter the property without the tenant’s permission and without good reason. Also consider that the emergency contact is unlikely to know who to contact for repairs so you may need to make yourself more available on holiday to tell an inexperienced emergency contact how to best manage problems with your property.
4. Agree with your emergency contact or property manager an amount of money that they can spend on repairs without your consent. For example, if you authorise your property manager to carry out repairs at their discretion, up to £300, then they will not have disturb your time by the pool to carry out a relatively low cost repair.
By just taking a bit of time to notify your tenants and property manager of your holidays you may save yourself a big headache on your return. You are also fulfilling your responsibilities as a landlord. Just think if your refrigerator stopped working during the hottest months or your toilet was unusable and the person you needed to fix it was unreachable – how would you feel?
Of course the best way to have your cocktail and drink it too, is to have your property managed. That way, every day will feel like a holiday.
Find out exactly how we can make your life as a landlord feel like a holiday, by calling our property management team on 020 8799 4362 or e-mail us at [email protected] .