Summer is here which means its holiday time and a chance to escape the daily stresses and struggles that come with being a landlord. While they may be stereotyped as being a serious bunch, landlords like to have fun just like everybody else, and a summer holiday is one of the few times a year that they get to swap that stern expression for a smiley one. However, being a landlord means that it’s not possible to just pack a suitcase of leave; you have a duty of care to tenants and thorough preparation is needed before embarking on a well-earned break away from the UK. Property inventories need to be taken care of, tenants need to be informed of your plans, and contacts need to be arranged before you even think about which swim trunks to pack.
If you are a landlord planning a holiday, here are a few steps you need to take to ensure everything runs smoothly in your absence.
Notify your tenants
The first thing you will need to do is notify your tenants that you will be away. You never know what is going to happen to a property in your absence and there is a chance that your tenants may need to contact you. It is best to give tenants as much notice as possible that you are going to be away and provide them with dates, contact details, and emergency contact details in writing. Send all letters to tenants by recorded delivery so that you can be sure they have received the information.
Arrange an emergency contact
You owe it to yourself to distance yourself from work as much as possible and, while you should always remain contactable, it is best to hand over responsibilities to someone that you trust. Whether that happens to be a family member or a friend, ensure that they have everything needed to deal with every eventuality.
When your emergency contact is running things in the UK, property inventories, rental agreements with new tenants and pre-existing repairs should all have been taken care of before you leave. Provide your contact with the following list of items:
- all keys to all properties, garages, units and lock-ups
- contact details for all tenants including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses
- money to pay for any unexpected bills (i.e. any emergency repairs that need to be carried out)
- a list of contractors that you regularly use in case of emergency repairs
- details on how you can be contacted (i.e. phone number, email address, hotel details).
You should also personally take your contact to each rental property and show them how to access and turn off water, gas, and electricity in the event of an emergency.
There is a lot of work that goes in to having a relaxing holiday as a landlord, but if you want to forget about rental inventory services, UK tenancy deposit schemes and rental agreements for just two weeks of the year, you have to prepare. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail – do not give your tenants reason to disturb your holiday!