Reduce issues at the end of the tenancy
(Posted on 27/10/16)
The end of any period of tenancy can bring about various issues for any letting agent to deal with. From minor problems such as the tenant having left behind some clutter that needs cleared out to bigger situations such as damage to walls and flooring, which can be more costly to repair.
The best way to make sure this does not become a major issue at the end of the tenancy, however, is to make sure you keep on top of things throughout the course of the period someone lives in a property. If letting agents are taking steps to minimise problems throughout, then it stands to reason that there will be fewer issues when the tenancy comes to an end.
So what are the best steps to take to minimise issues '
The number one method to lower disputes between agency and tenant at the end of a tenancy is to make sure you're covered with a detailed and up-to-date inventory before anyone moves in, which protects you against people claiming things were broken or missing when they got there.
Your inventory needs to be effective, so make sure you are listing both everything that you have in the property and its current condition, with descriptions to the best of your ability of how something appears. The more detail, the more protection you have as a letting agent. It can also be advisable to lower disputes at the end of the tenancy by taking photographs of walls, paintwork and any pre-existing damage.
One of the main reasons properties are left in a poor state of repair when someone moves out is that they have simply neglected to report issues as they arise, which only serves to exacerbate them. If you are checking and inspecting your property regularly, you can spot problems early and give yourself the chance to fix them before they get worse.
On top of this, if regular inspections are being carried out, the tenant has more reason to look after the property, which again reduces the chance of issues unexpectedly cropping up at check out.
Dialogue is also key when it comes to asking people to report things. One of the biggest problems when it comes to damage and longstanding issues is that tenants were too scared to report something in case they had to foot the bill themselves.
For this reason, it's vital that companies are letting their tenants know that they are on their side. Keep regular dialogue with them to ask how things are going - which gives them an invitation to report any problems - and make them aware that you're always there to help, a reassurance that they can come to you as and when issues occur to allow you to carry out maintenance and repairs.
Finally, it can be a very useful practice to try to ask tenants to be present when you are carrying out the checking out property inspection. There are often disagreements when it comes to repairs, maintenance and replacements needed after someone moves out, but if both parties are there at the same time to argue their corner, it really can help smooth these issues out.
Take the time to walk around the property and discuss the inventory to allow them to explain themselves and agree on any issues you want to raise - this can save significant time down the line and avoids the sort of back and forth that can lead to long disputes.