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January is the perfect time to make plans for the year ahead, and if you’re a landlord, there are all sorts of things you can do to make things runs more smoothly this year. With that in mind, here are four New Year’s resolutions you can make now to help you and your tenants prosper in 2020.

1. Sort your paperwork

Landlords have to deal with all sorts of paperwork – tenancy agreements, inventories, safety certificates, insurance documents, etc – and it can easily get into a mess, so resolve to get all that in order at the beginning of the year. Create a filing system, whether online or on paper, so you can easily find what you need, and track down anything you’re missing so it’s all there before you need it. You should also find somewhere to store receipts and invoices throughout the year, to make things easier for yourself at tax time.

2. Make a plan

Look ahead at the whole year and schedule in everything that will need to be done. For example:

  • Maintenance work
  • Appliance servicing
  • Property inspections
  • Renewal of tenancy agreement
  • Renewal of landlord insurance
  • Safety inspections
  • Tax return/payment deadlines

If you can fix dates and book contractors now, do it – the more notice you can give your tenants about when works and inspections will be happening, the better!

3. Streamline your processes

Which parts of being a landlord take up most of your time? Whether it’s responding to emails, looking up phone numbers or researching contractors, there’s bound to be something you can do to make the process of managing your property easier. For example, you could put together a list of affordable and reliable tradespeople now, so you don’t have to do the research when urgent work needs to be done. Or you can create a document of emergency contact numbers for your tenants, so that you don’t have to field calls whilst you’re away. Even better, you could bring on a letting agent to manage the day-to-day running of your property for you!

4. Improve your relationship with your tenants

Everything works more smoothly when you have a good relationship with your tenants, so why not work on building that relationship this year? You don’t have to do much – just make sure that you’re quick to respond to queries or requests, keep them informed about any work going on in the property, and maybe upgrade an old appliance or replace a carpet that’s getting worn out. You could even give your tenants a card or a small gift on special occasions, like birthdays or Christmas. A little gesture can go a long way and will help you to keep hold of good tenants.

Happy new year from the team at Gough Quarters! If you’re looking to rent a property in Bristol in 2020, we can help. Contact us today to find out more.

Cover photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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