If you’re planning on living with tenants in your own investment property, it’s essential to take out landlord insurance and to choose lodgers carefully.
Sharing a house can be challenging, but there are ways to make your time together bearable or even fun.
I actually have first hand experience of this arrangement and know it can be beneficial for both parties. But there are things you should consider:
Here are five tips for live-in landlords:
Hold interviews before selecting a tenant
Letting out one of the rooms in your house is a great way to utilise space and make extra money – important if you are looking to grow your pennies in the long run. However, it’s important to interview tenants before they move in to ensure they’re suitable for a house share.
Have a good chat over a cup of coffee and find out as much as you can about the other person in a short space of time. Ask them about their job and delve into their personal life without being too evasive. Find out if they’ve got a partner (as this could affect you) and inquire how they’ll be spending their time. Lodgers also have expectations, so ask what they expect from you and decide if you’re compatible. Of course, people usually want to create a good first impression so use your natural instincts if possible.
Draw up a contract
Start off by drawing up a three-month contract and have all tenants sign it before they move in with a deposit for security. This will make things official and will help you throw them out if things don’t work out. Write down the rules and regulations of the house share and make sure everyone understands their responsibilities. Establishing a rota and laying down guidelines from the very start will help everyone know their place and should allow you to live in harmony.
Give each other space
It’s really important to respect your tenants by giving them privacy and space. Just because it’s your house does not mean you can stroll into their room whenever you feel. You wouldn’t like it if they snooped around your bedroom, so never enter their own living quarters without asking permission.
If you want to clean the whole house, always speak to the tenants first. Some might be happy for you to hoover and dust, whereas others would prefer to do it themselves. Everyone needs time to relax and breath, so don’t crowd your lodgers.
Tell your tenants before inviting guests
Always tell your tenants before inviting guests and ask them to do the same. That way everyone will know who’s coming round and will expect different people in the house. You might not care who your housemates bring home, but they might get concerned if they hear strange voices, so keep things fair. You don’t have to sit down and formally introduce everyone who walks through the door or anything like that, but just leave a note or tell everyone quickly. If you respect others, you should find they respect your back.
Talk through any issues
If there’s a problem in the house, it’s essential to talk through any issues before they get worse. Have a calm discussion over dinner with the person who’s bothering you and let them voice their concerns too. Talking face-to-face is one of the best ways to iron out issues and is much more productive than gossiping behind their back. You might find a good chin wag strengthens your relationship and getting everything in the open is sure to improve the atmosphere in the house.
Living amicably with tenants is as important as taking out cheap landlord insurance, so always treat each other with care.
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