In just one week’s time it’s New Year’s Eve, which means that people across the country will already be thinking of their New Year’s resolutions. Most of these resolutions will be quite obvious: lose weight, eat healthier, walk the dog more often or even just spend more time with the family. However, for landlords New Year’s resolutions can be an opportunity to really make a difference to both the private rental sector and their own businesses. In this article we list four resolutions that all landlords can make, the question is how many do you think you can achieve?
Resolution 1: Spend more time Organising
As the demand for private rented accommodation has increased rapidly over the past year a large percentage of landlords have decided to take advantage of the situation and expand their property portfolios. However, even though a larger property portfolio can provide extra income, it also requires more time and effort on behalf of the landlord. To ensure that you keep your business running smoothly (and your tenants happy!) it is essential you stay organised, which means creating filing systems, making time to answer tenant queries and keeping a keen eye on your business’s finances. Being a more organised landlord will not only be beneficial for you but also your tenants, making this resolution a win-win.
Resolution 2: Help Benefit Recipients
Recently, we published a news article stating that the amount of landlords who let to benefit recipients has halved over the past three years, leaving some of the most vulnerable families struggling to find a decent home. One of the main reasons that landlords have chosen to stop letting to benefit recipients is the introduction of Universal Credit under the welfare reforms, which means they no longer directly receive housing benefits. Even though this could increase the likelihood of some tenants falling into rent arrears, it’s important to note that others may easily budget their money and can even apply to have their housing benefits paid directly to you. In 2014 try and give those in need a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Resolution 3: Be Active in the Landlord Community
With so many changes affecting the private rental sector right now it’s important for landlords to stick together. Luckily, there are a number of established groups that landlords can join in order to discuss these changes and seek advice should they be concerned or adversely affected. By joining a landlord group not only will you have a great support network but you will also be able to help others in the landlord sector and your local community. Accidental landlords could especially benefit from learning more about the lettings industry from those that have worked in it for a number of years. Once again, this resolution will not only benefit your business but also your tenants, as increased knowledge of the sector will ensure you won’t misunderstand any landlord regulations.
Resolution 4: Expand your Business
Even if you’ve been in the landlord business for a number of years there are always ways in which you can improve, one of which is to expand your business and take on something new. We know that some landlords are wary of trying something different due to the associated risks, however with a comprehensive landlord insurance policy behind you it can be both exciting and prosperous. For example, have you ever thought about becoming a student landlord and letting a House in Multiple Occupation? Or finding an idyllic property overseas and letting it out during the summer months? There are so many options for landlords that just sticking to one thing means you will never be able to learn new skills or increase your stake in the private rental sector. So make sure 2014 is the year that you take a risk and learn something new!
Even though it can sometimes be hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions, making them with good intentions is the first step to improving yourself and your business. If you have any other landlord resolution ideas why not let us know on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages? We would love to see what plans you have to improve your businesses in the New Year!