Whether you let out a property for overnight stays or long-term tenancies, being a good landlord should always be a priority.
By taking your responsibilities seriously, not only will you help to make your tenants’ stays more pleasant, but you can also help to keep your property occupied for longer, making it a win-win situation.
If you’re a landlord, here’s what you should be doing.
Make Sure Your Property Is Safe
One of your primary responsibilities as a landlord is to ensure your tenants or guests are safe during their stay. This mainly concerns the following areas:
- Gas safety – hire a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit your property annually and carry out checks on all gas equipment.
- Fire safety – ensure all furniture and furnishings meet legal fire-safety standards.
- Electricity safety – hire an NICEIC-registered electrician to carry out safety checks on all your equipment.
These are just a starting point, and you should also make sure your property has solid locks on all the doors and windows as well as installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. It’s a good idea to carry out a full risk assessment to spot any danger signs and get them fixed.
Provide All the Essentials
Think carefully about all the things that your guests will need during their stay and make sure they can access them.
High-speed broadband, a high-definition TV, an iron, a dishwasher, glasses, dishes, toilet paper, utensils – these are all things that they will want and expect if you are letting your property out for short stays.
If you are letting an unfurnished property for longer periods, the essentials will be less comprehensive, but your tenants will still have a list of things they expect. They may not even notice when they find everything they need – but they will certainly complain when they don’t.
There may be times when your tenants want some help or advice, so make sure you are there for them. Ensure they have your telephone number, and let them know that they can contact you if they need to.
Tenants will often need to contact you occasionally, and they will appreciate being able to get hold of you when something goes wrong or they need assistance. It’s also in your best interests to deal with problems quickly to prevent them from getting any worse.
Provide a Welcome Pack
Make your guests feel welcome as soon as they step through the door by creating a simple welcome pack. This could include instructions for how to use the washing machine, how to access the wi-fi, and important telephone numbers (including yours!).
If you are running a holiday let, explain the checking-out procedure and provide your guests with local information. Remember, your guests might be completely new to the area. So if you are letting out a property in Bristol, you could include details of the historical attractions, nearby bars and restaurants, the best museums and art galleries, the contact details for some good local takeaways, and a map of the area.
It won’t take much effort on your part, but it can help to make their stay a better one right from the moment they arrive.
Clean Up Before Every New Guest
Every time a tenant leaves, make sure you give the property a proper clean. Most tenants will leave the place more or less how they found it, but you should still clean up after them. The next tenants will not appreciate arriving to find food on the floor and unwashed cups in the sink.
Create a checklist of all the areas of the property that you need to clean so you can ensure you don’t miss anything.
Regularly Check Your Property
In between periods of occupation, make it a habit to check over your property to spot any problems. You could do this when you clean the property after each tenant leaves.
Spot a patch of damp forming? Find a window that doesn’t lock properly? Is a tap dripping? Sort them out. By keeping on top of things on a regular basis, you can ensure guests always find your property in top condition, saving them and you hassle when they have to call you out to fix it.
Make Them Feel Special
While the amount of work you put into making sure your tenants or guests have a good time is up to you, you might want to go the extra mile and make them feel really special. This can often be achieved by making a bit of extra effort, and the payoff can be huge when they have a wonderful time and leave you a glowing review.
For holiday lets, consider leaving your guests some food and drink to get them started, like an unopened pack of tea or even a bottle of wine. Ensure the beds are comfortable by investing in some high-quality sheets and duvets, and buy some new soap and shampoo for each guest.
The Best Way to Let Your Property
This can seem like a lot of work, but all of these things are really the basics that you should be following if you want to ensure your guests enjoy a pleasant stay in your property. However, if you don’t have the time to carry out all of these steps, we would be happy to do it for you.
At Hopewell, you can take advantage of our property management service to take the hassle out of managing your property to let. Not only will this free up your time, but it will also give you peace of mind in knowing that your property and tenants are being looked after properly.