What You Need To Do As A Landlord When You Go On Holiday
Being a landlord can be exhausting and even we have to take a well-earned trip from time to time. The worry is that you have to ensure that your property remains intact whilst you’re away and you don’t want it lingering in the back of your mind whilst you’re trying to enjoy your vacation. It’s important to get everything in place so you have that reassurance if you leave the country so we’ve put together a checklist that may help put your ease at mind when you’re away or out of the country.
Remember That You Have Landlord Insurance
Everyone deserves a vacation even in a busy job that takes up a lot of your time. You should be able to have cover for the times when you’re unavailable. It’s best not to panic as there will be many safety precautions you have in place when you first started out as a landlord, including Landlord Insurance. This’ll help to cover the majority of scenarios when you’re away.
Make Your Tenants Aware That You’re Leaving
Number one on your list should be making your tenants aware that you’ll away for a while. Use any method possible so that they’re fully aware you won’t be available for the specific dates. You could email, message or even speak to them face to face. It’ll perhaps make them extra careful (if they’re not already) of taking care of the property as they know you’re not available. You never know what’s going to happen whilst you’re gone. The last thing you’ll need is to call a dispute resolution solicitor after something has occurred whilst you’re away that your tenants don’t agree with.
Keep Access To Your Emails
Although you’re most likely to have an out-of-office notification in place when you leave, it’s always worth having an eye on what’s going on whilst you’re away. If there’s anything that requires your immediate attention, you’ll most likely be notified about it through your emails as it’ll seem the most reliable method to contact you by. Reception can be sketchy when you’re in another country so don’t depend on it being a reliable method.
Provide/Remind Your Tenants Of The Tenant Handbook
If you haven’t provided one already, create a tenant handbook that provides tenants with all their essential information for being on your property. Most importantly, you’d include contact information on there of the utility companies and maintenance workers that you have for any damages or issues that you have. It’ll also provide them details about where is what in the property if they don’t know that already.
Arrange An Emergency Contact
Tenants tend to provide details of a guarantor to you when they’re in a sticky situation and the same should apply to you too. If the tenants don’t have someone that they can contact when you’re away it can put them in a difficult situation. You can either arrange this right at the beginning of a tenancy or when you’re about to go away. It’s totally dependent on what the emergency contact prefers but a heads up will do no harm.
Make Sure The Emergency Contact Is Prepped To Fill The Void
Although you may be away for a brief period the emergency contact will the point of call for your tenants to make sure they’re well prepared. Creating a file for them may be handy so they’re able to access the relevant information easily. Just remind them that keeping tenant information secure and private should be high on their agenda, so they’d need to store the documents in a safe place. However, documents that are highly sensitive probably shouldn’t be passed on whilst you’re away. Your replacement should be provided with the following:
- Each tenants’ name and contact number
- Details of the preferred contractor for each job and their contact information
- Payment details or cash for any work that’s required
- Your emergency contact information when you’re away (if they don’t have it already)
- A book to keep a record of all interactions that take place whilst you’re on vacation
- Any other information that they might not be aware of about your properties e.g. spare keys location, alarm codes, locks etc.
- A run through of the laws between landlords and tenants
Essentially, all the important information they would need to help them whilst you’re away should be communicated. You still want to provide the same service and support to your tenants even when you’re not there. Make it clear to them what is believed to be an emergency and what’s not as they should already have the information they need when you leave. If not, you could find yourself being mithered constantly.
Issue Emergency Contact Details To Your Tenants
In a situation where there is something that requires immediate attention, you’d need someone who’s available to take the reigns whilst you’re away. You may have a family member or friend who can help you out and if so, provide their contact details to the tenants. At the same time, you can also provide contact details of each tenant to your chosen emergency contact so they’re familiar with who they are.
Fulfilling all the points in this checklist should pretty much cover you for all bases when you’re off on your travels. It’s a busy job but no landlord should feel they’re unable to have a holiday because of the priorities they have keeping tenants happy. If you do everything correctly and communicate well you shouldn’t have to worry and instead, you’ll be able to allow yourself to kick back on the sun lounger beside the pool with a cocktail or two without a panic.