Tessa’s Ten Top Tips on Rent

  1. Do not charge too high a rent – it is better to let a property with a moderate rent than have it lie empty.  Or find that tenants cannot afford the rent and you have to deal with rent arrears.
  2. If you are letting for a fixed term of more than one year, you should have a rent review clause in your tenancy agreement.
  3. Make sure that your tenancy agreement clause provides for rent to be paid in advance, as by default it is payable in arrears.
  4. Try to ensure that your tenants pay by standing order if possible. Ideally, get them to sign a standing order form before they move in.
  5. If you have made the rent payable weekly, note that you have to provide the tenant with a rent book in the prescribed form (obtainable from most large stationers).
  6. Keep accurate records of rent paid, making sure you record the date and the amount paid every time rent is received from the tenant.
  7. If rent is not increased in the proper way, the new ‘rent’ will be invalid and your tenant can refuse to pay it.
  8. If you can, get rent increased by agreement and then confirmed in a new tenancy agreement
  9. Keep a check on whether your tenants  have paid rent as the best time to resolve issues is immediately after the first default
  10. Be careful about allowing tenants too much time to pay.  Bearing in mind the time it takes to evict a tenant – what they are in effect doing is negotiating a further rent free period in your property.

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