10 Mistakes UK Landlords Make & Our Advice For Avoiding Them
While there is certainly a perception out there that all landlords are wealthy lords of leisure who barely have to lift a finger to enjoy a steady stream of rental income, as a UK landlord, you know this is far from the truth.
Managing property certificates, dealing with tenant issues, maintaining your properties and keeping track of all your records can be a big undertaking. Make a mistake, and you can risk losing your rental income or even your right to work as a landlord.
So, how can you avoid common landlord mistakes and avoid unnecessary hassles and fines? Just keep reading. In this blog, we’re giving you sound advice to avoid the top 10 mistakes UK landlords make.
Thinking you don’t need home insurance
A roof leak, burst pipe, fire, or broken window, and you’re down thousands of pounds in the blink of an eye. If you assume that these emergencies are rare and don’t need emergency home cover, you’d be sorely mistaken.
Advice for landlords: To avoid massive emergency payouts, just get the insurance – you’ll thank yourself later.
Not protecting your security deposit
Not only is deposit protection a legal requirement, but failing to input your deposit into Tenancy Deposit Scheme by the deadline gives your tenants the chance to sue you for three times the deposit amount. It also means you can’t evict them. (Unless you want to go through expensive and lengthy court proceedings.)
Advice for landlords: Do yourself a favour and secure your tenant’s deposit as soon as possible, and don’t forget to give the tenants Prescribed Information.
Not researching letting agencies
Before making any significant investment, it’s a good idea to do your research to ensure you’re making the right choice.
Advice for landlords: Make sure you compare a few letting agencies by reading their reviews, checking their pricing, and seeing what services they provide to choose the best one.
Using a shady real estate agent
No, we’re not talking about a letting agent secretly dealing drugs on the side. This common mistake refers to landlords partnering with an agent that isn’t a member of The Property Ombudsman. If you’re working with an unregulated agent, chances are you won’t receive a high-quality service or have the same level of consumer protection.
Advice for landlords: Before choosing a real estate agent to work with, ensure they’re a TPO member.
Not taking inventory of your property
If your tenants damage or steal anything in your property, how can you dispute it with them and take it off the security deposit if you don’t have evidence? Failing to take a thorough inventory of your property’s contents and inspecting the property’s condition beforehand is a huge mistake we see landlords make.
Advice for landlords: Print out a checklist, so you can take stock of every item on your property and make sure you assess the condition of walls, floors, windows, and just about anything else inside or outside your property.
Not getting landlord liability insurance
Suppose your tenant slips in your property due to broken flooring, gets asthma from black mould, or burns themselves on a faulty appliance. In that case, they could make a personal injury claim against you for not providing a safe and healthy property.
Advice for landlords: Don’t want to get sued and fork out hundreds of thousands for a personal injury claim? Get liability insurance for landlords.
Letting tenants walk all over you
If you’re too lenient with tenants – whether that’s allowing loud parties their neighbours complain about, having pets when you strictly said no, or not saying anything when they pay late – who knows what else they’ll do?
Advice for landlords: Stop minor issues from becoming major problems later on. Firmly communicate when tenants have crossed a boundary and clarify what can happen if they continue acting out.
Giving new tenants long contracts
Your new tenants might seem great in their initial interview or property viewing, and you’ve read glowing references from past landlords. But how can you know they’ll pay you on time, respect your property, and generally be a good tenant? Well, you don’t.
Advice for landlords: One of the biggest mistakes landlords make is giving new tenants 12 month+ contracts when things can quickly go awry. Keep it to 6 months or shorter in the beginning to protect yourself.
Forgetting property certificate due dates
Landlords often forget when their gas safety, EICR, EPC, and boiler service certificates are up for renewal. And missing these strict deadlines can result in thousands of pounds in fines from the UK government.
Advice for landlords: Use a property certificate management tool, like Symple – which alerts you to due dates and lets you order a new certificate in just one click.
Putting yourself at risk from tenant claims
If you don’t secure inspections and property certificates for electrical, gas, boiler safety, and PAT testing, you can put your tenants in harm’s way. All it takes is one electrical fire, gas leak or explosion to damage your property and maybe even injure your tenants severely. If this happens, your tenants can bring you to court for damages, potentially bankrupting you.
Advice for landlords: Eliminate this risk altogether by using a super easy platform, like Symple, to order and manage all your property certificates.
Our best advice? Avoid common landlord mistakes with Symple
Symple is easy, fast, and built to make landlords’ lives easier. Our platform makes it as simple as clicking a button to process renewals, manage tenant communications, and source reliable engineers from your local area.
No more calls back and forth to arrange appointments, forgetting to renew your certificates, losing track of receipts, or facing fines – Symple takes care of the entire process for you.
Just add your property information and the date of the last gas, energy performance, or electrical safety certificate, hit renew, and we’ll do the rest – it’s Symple!
Learn more about how Symple works and order your certificates online today.