Spring is traditionally a time for a good tidy up and clear out. If you’re a landlord, it’s also an excellent opportunity to give your property management strategy a once-over. Taking the time to review what is and isn’t working with your investment will save you money and energy further down the track. What you’re looking for in your property spring clean are pinch points: issues that cause aggravation and loss of income. Sometimes, we need to step back and look at the bigger picture to realise that a fresh approach is required.
Here are six tips for landlords.
Look back over your accounts. It’s surprising how many landlords get lax and lose track of their incomings and outgoings. Identify unexpected costs and how they could have been avoided. Was the problem poor tenant selection, bad communication, or a maintenance failure? If so, put systems in place to prevent issues from reoccurring.
Audit your time management. Your balance sheet might look fantastic but remember that time is money. If you’re spending several hours each week sorting out problems with your property (and it’s impacting other areas of your life), something doesn’t add up.
Review your insurance. All landlords should have buildings and liability insurance. Many also opt for rent and legal protection, and to cover loss of rent (due to fire or flooding). Assess whether you have the right cover to suit your situation, and then shop around for a better deal. (Often, insurers save the best deals for new customers, so it’s worth switching.)
Research mortgages. Check the terms of your mortgage. If it’s due to end soon, start researching the market. This may sound obvious, but we recently spoke to a landlord (a busy professional battling through lockdown), who was aghast to discover that his deal had ended months ago and he had been bumped to the lender’s much higher standard variable rate.
Revise your contacts. It’s always helpful to have good tradespeople in your contacts list in case of an emergency. If you haven’t spoken to your plumber, sparky or builder in a while, check in with them to make sure that they’re still working in the area.
Consider the services of a letting agent. If you use an agent, analyse the level of service you’ve received over the past year. If you’re not entirely happy, test the water to see if a more suitable option is available. If you don’t use a letting agent, reach out to discuss fees and services. It could be that having an expert manage your property frees you up to focus on other priorities.
Get in touch with us here at Newton Fallowell to learn more about our property management services.