How to Make Your Rental Business Run Smoothly

How to Make Your Rental Business Run Smoothly - motherhooddiaries

Thanks to flexible working and the freedom to start your own business in the UK, parents are turning to buy-to-let property investments, as a way to either supplement their income or make a living from it. Starting out as a landlord/landlady, however, can be overwhelming. From screening your tenants and preparing your property for collecting the rent and taking care of maintenance issues – it’s not an easy gig. With a high level of attention to detail and experience, however, this job can be both gratifying and lucrative. If you’re just starting out, you might need a bit of guidance. Read on for tips on how to make your rental business run more smoothly.

Have a Cushion for The Fixes

Maintenance issues happen—you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to find the funds to pay for them. Before you become a landlord, you need to make sure you have a financial cushion in place. If you find yourself underwater on your property, you’ve gone against any financial gains you were hoping to make. In addition to things like burst pipes, roof damage, and other inevitable fixes, you might encounter nightmare tenants who don’t pay the rent. While you pursue legal action against them to recoup the rent, you’ll still be expected to pay.

Outsource the Fixes

Maintenance issues in your own home are already a huge pain. When it comes to your rental properties, they can be the bane of your existence. But even if you keep your place maintained like a tight ship, issues are bound to happen. Unless you are a DIYer and enjoy getting your hands dirty, you might consider outsourcing these fixes to someone who does this for a living. Outsource projects like commercial paving, tiling and general fix-ups. And, to make life easier for yourself, invest in couriers to acquire the materials needed, so you can spend your time tending to the more important matters at hand – your rental income!

Of course, if you live far away from your rental property, you’re going to have to outsource this anyway. You might even consider hiring a property manager to handle the collection of rent, maintenance issues, and more.

Thoroughly Vet Your Tenants

Thoroughly vet your tenants - motherhooddiaries

Before your tenants get the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, you want to make sure you’re not going to regret this decision. This means instilling a very strict tenant screening process that should include a detailed application process and a background check. The right screening services should help you verify employment, and you should also consider taking advantage of credit reports for landlords from SmartMove to examine their financial credibility. Your background check should indicate criminal history as well; if a misdemeanour pops up, you can go with your gut on that one (depending on how serious it was and how long ago). However, you will likely want to avoid any tenant with a felony in his or her background.

Go High-Tech in Rent Collection

Automating rent collection will give you and your tenant peace of mind. As this article points out,

“Whether you buy an online solution pre-made or hire a developer to create it, set up a payment system that accepts credit or debit cards, or even automatic bank transfers.”

Millennials not only prefer this way of paying rent, but they’d also like the option of paying with their phones. Some landlords are hesitant, however, due to the fees that can be associated with online payments. According to this HuffPo article, is a good alternative. This service processes the tenants’ online payments and the charge is the same as PayPal—a fee of 2.9% of the amount + $0.30. Where it’s better than PayPal is that it offers a free subscription service to automatically bill your tenants.

Go High-Tech in Rent Collection

Establish an Appropriate Relationship with Tenants

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories about the landlords who love to “pop in” on their tenants. This is never okay, even if you’re tempted to catch them doing something you disapprove of. You should trust that you have thoroughly screened them and, thus, make appointments anytime you want to discuss anything with them—it’s the law. Conversely, you can be friendly and approachable and go the extra mile with special touches. A holiday gift basket can go a long way in making a good impression, especially if it’s coming to the time for them to decide whether to renew their lease for another year.

If you’ve gone above and beyond during your tenant screening process, you’re already likely to enjoy a long and productive tenant/landlord relationship. However, you can follow these tips to ensure that your landlord duties will go smoothly over the years.

If you are in the rental business yourself, what are your tips on ensuring your business runs smoothly? Please share in the comments below.

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (597 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: