Four common mistakes sometimes made by DIY or self-managing landlords

If you are a self-managed landlord, it’s absolutely crucial that you have a good working relationship with your tenants.

For this to happen, tenants need to have faith in you that everything has been taken care of before, during and after the tenant has moved out.

Some areas of the process require more admin and leg work than others. Below you will find four common mistakes that are sometimes made by self-managed landlords.

1. Not running appropriate checks on potential tenants

No landlord likes empty properties and the prospect of no rent for weeks, possibly even months. As a landlord, you should never be so focused on wanting the rental that it means you skip a referencing process. If a tenant is not thoroughly referenced, there could be information that is key to you accepting the tenancy that you won’t know.

These can be things such as:
● If the tenant had previous rent arrears
● Can they afford the rent? (Do they earn enough money?)
● Did they leave their last rental property in an acceptable condition?

Our advice on this would be to always reference your tenants and include a guarantor if needed. PlanetRent takes care of all tenant referencing and provides real-time reporting to the landlord, ensuring that everything has been completed.

PlanetRent also automates re-marketing for you. It chases down your tenants to see if they want to renew or vacate, and if vacating automatically advertises it on PlanetRent, facebook and your choice of Zoopla and RightMove on a pay-as-you-go basis. If you want it let super quick PlanetRent can even broadcast your property to Local Agents on a let-only basis, just set the fee you want to pay them and ‘invite’ them to the app and they get use of all your photos and floorplans and can enter their tenants’ offers directly into your deals tracker.

2. Check with your mortgage company

Before renting your property, you must ensure that the terms of your mortgage allow you to do so. Renting out your property without the consent of your mortgage company could put you in breach of their terms and conditions, which can mean that the lender will increase the mortgage interest rate or even seek to repossess.

3. Not showing enough or speedy attention to your tenants

Neglecting your tenants can create severe complications down the line. For example, when it comes to maintenance, if not using an agent you need to be available 24/7 just in case an emergency arises.

Lack of response or action on maintenance issues can prevent a Section 21 being served should you wish to end the tenancy. You need to keep the lines of communication open and ensure that your tenants feel comfortable contacting you.

PlanetRent takes care of all the maintenance requests, by mapping contractors to repair types and then connecting tenants directly to your chosen contractor. You get to watch in real time and if your contractor does not pick up the job within the time limit you set (say 4 hours) then we’ll notify you. It is all about creating a transparent relationship between landlords and tenants and removing middle management administration.

4. Overpricing the property

In a high price-sensitive market, seeking an inflated rent could result in your property remaining empty. Don’t fall foul to being tempted to overprice your property at the beginning to ‘test’ the market.

This can be a huge mistake. If you are using the large portals such as Zoopla & Rightmove, they show a full history of the changes made. So, if the property has been initially overpriced and then reduced, this information will be visible to ‘would be renters’. And, may well put them off, or suggest that there is something wrong with the property to prompt a price reduction – ultimately leading you to have to take a lower offer.

If you would like to find out more about how PlanetRent can support you and automates the lettings process, please visit our website

You can read more about PlanetRent in The Times, Letting Agent Today, LandlordZone and Property Week.

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