Lucy said, "All things said, a bad tenant is a bad tenant. Just because I got a baddie doesn’t mean that let to lets are ALWAYS going to be a bad idea. And in fact I know a couple of great people in Portsmouth who I would wholeheartedly recommend as rent to rent tenants if a PDPLA member is looking."
She then went on to list her recommendations (which she entitled, "Mistakes I made which you can avoid")
- Thinking that the person/organisation you are letting to are acting as your agent and are on your side. They are your tenant, on their own side, and you will have to manage them.
- Getting the person you let to do the inventory and check themselves in (yes I know, see point 1 above!)
- Using the standard Let to let contract produced by the RLA. It’s not detailed enough and specifically it does not say that tenant is responsible for all costs incurred in chasing them for rent arrears and damages.
- Thinking that a company would be a safe bet as a tenant. A company is only as well behaved as its director(s).
- Thinking that “guaranteed rent” meant that you could assume that the rent would arrive safely in your bank account at the agreed time and you wouldn’t have to check or chase.
- Thinking that the tenant would maintain the property - when something needs fixing it ALWAYS magically became the landlord’s liability and not the tenants.
- The tenant claiming that items had broken or failed (so LL cost) rather than agreeing that the sub tenant had broken it.
- Believing promises that broken items would be repaired or replaced at the end of the 3 year term because “there wasn’t any point doing it now because the type of sub tenants they had meant that it would probably be broken again soon.”
- Assuming that replacements would be done on a like for like basis so double bed for double bed and Quality double oven cooker for other quality double oven cooker. (Instead of single beds and cheapest oven money can buy). Another item which RLA contract did not cover off.
- Assuming that you knew exactly who you were dealing with. Our “sole trader” tenant company morphed into a number of limited companies, none of which had assets and none of which were liable for the rent or damage.
- Not knowing or managing the subtenants. And not able to control their behaviour because you aren’t their landlord.
- Assuming that “vulnerable adults” were unfortunates in need of a helping hand rather than Trouble with a capital “T”.
- Not appreciating that seriously pissed off neighbours would not like your subtenants.
- Not appreciating that grotty subtenants would negatively affect the reputation and value of property in your area, including of course the value of YOUR house.
- Not putting a 12 month break clause in the contract.
- Assuming that taking someone to court would not be financially ruinous.
Other than that, go ahead!
For what it’s worth, I had a bad ride and I was sweet, honest and naive. These days I would create the contract, demand MUCH MUCH more rent and manage them to within an inch of their lives.