It's that time of the year again. The Christmas excess leads to thoughts of New Year resolutions. They usually revolve around adopting new habits. Either to make us fitter or happier. But we can also make New Year resolutions in our professional lives. Just in case you're struggling for inspiration here's our suggestions for resolutions private landlords can make this year.
The thing about New Year resolutions is they aren't always easy to keep to. Keeping on top of legislation fits into that bracket. There's been so much of it in recent years private landlords have a right to feel overwhelmed. But making sure you're up to date with the legal aspects of being a landlord is essential. It keeps you on the right side of the law and avoids potentially expensive mistakes. And the legislation isn't going to stop in 2019. The Tenants Fees Bill will be coming into force next year so keeping on top of legislation is more important than ever.
Or at least make sure the taxman doesn't have reason to make you unhappy. Meet all the filing deadlines - don't forget January 31st. And if you've incorporated your business ensure you provide your accountant with all receipts, records and paperwork. Make sure the accountant you use is up to speed with the tax laws regarding private landlords.
If you're a sole trader doing your own books you need to be very organised. Don’t confuse business and personal records. If you haven’t already done so resolve to open a different bank account for your business.
There has been lots of items in the news recently about long-standing customers receiving bad deals from companies they have remained loyal too. Insurance, broadband and energy companies have been noticeably notorious for this. For the coming year resolve to seek out new quotes rather than simply renewing current contracts. Whether that's landlord's insurance or a retainer with a local handyman review your contracts. If you can get a better deal go for it. Finding better value suppliers can make a real difference to your bottom line.
Void periods. Make it your New Year's resolution to not let your rental stand empty. The best way to avoid this is to encourage long-term tenants. But if you have a tenancy coming to end this year start your search to find a tenant well in advance. The quicker the turnaround between tenants the less interruption to your cash flow.
Do you have a contingency fund? If not make it your New Year resolution to begin one. Life as a private landlord is full of surprises. A good insurance policy will take care of most emergencies. But a contingency fund you can tap into when large invoices collide is an invaluable asset. Squirreling away some cash regularly can be a lifesaver for many private landlords.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It's an old saying but one which is rooted in wisdom. As a private landlord you can prepare for the New Year by planning out your maintenance schedule over the next 12 months. This will avoid lengthy renovations at the end of a tenancy. Another way to keep void periods to a minimum.
Take an inventory of all the furniture and appliances in your property. Schedule any repairs or make arrangements to purchase replacement units. In the same vain make sure you book the gas safety check in plenty of time. And if the Energy Performance Certificate needs renewing this year get it booked in as early as possible.
Whether you have a large portfolio or a single property promise yourself you'll spend less time on your business. It's all about work /life balance. If you're finding yourself working too hard or too long in your business consider a letting agent's property management service. This will free up much more time allowing you to step away from the day to day running of the business.
Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.