A new report has highlighted the struggles that buy-to-let landlords are facing with tenants leaving their properties in a poor, dirty condition at the conclusion of tenancy agreements.
An investigation conducted by online letting agent PropertyLetByUs.com has found that landlords and letting agents are faced with dirty, grimy and greasy:
- carpets and flooring 25%
Shockingly, 70% of landlords said that they have experienced problems with tenants returning their properties to them in a dirty state.
In fact, cleaning makes up more than half of cases dealt with by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. What’s more, disputes over cleaning are now at their highest level since the scheme founded.
What can you do?
As a buy-to-let landlord or letting agent, there are measures you can take to cover yourself against damages or dirt left by your tenants.
Understand the importance of inventories-It is absolutely imperative that you create a detailed and thorough inventory, with both written and photographic evidence of the condition of your property at the beginning of a new tenancy agreement. Make sure all details included in the document are accurate and get your tenant to sign that they agree with your assessment. Leave them a copy and keep one for yourself. This will be absolutely vital should any disputes over cleanliness arise at check-out.
Get landlord insurance-Taking out the correct landlord insurance is imperative to protect yourself against unscrupulous occupants. Depending on the severity of the problem you face, bills for professionally cleaning your property can quickly add up, so make sure you are covered.
Make mid-term inspections-Visiting your tenants during their tenancy agreement is vitally important. This will allow you to flag up and problems with the condition of the property before they get any worse. You will also be able to cross reference to your inventory and see any deterioration that has occurred. In addition, regular visits will help build your relationship. Always be sure to give your tenant (s) plenty of notice before visiting.
Check-in and check-out-Remember to conduct a professional check-in and check-out process for each new tenancy. The check-in should contain a run through of the inventory and a strict outlining of how you expect them to behave. At the end of the agreement, the check-out process will give you an opportunity to go through an issues picked up in your mid-term inspections and also your inventory and see how the condition of your property compares to at check-in.
Clear, accurate information and regular communication with your tenants can go a long way to getting them to leaving your property in the same condition as when they entered!