Options for owners

If you’re one of the many people in Britain who rent out one or more properties to tenants, I advise you to step into the shoes of your tenants and think along with them. It will pay off.

If you put in a heater that you picked because it was so cheap, it may turn out to be a lot more expensive for you than you anticipated if it is very expensive to run for your tenants. This includes supplying the option to run the heating on a timer.

Similarly, consider ditching that old habit of covering the floors with the landlord special. If you put in a decent-quality smooth floor cover, like linoleum, this will help keep the dwelling much cleaner and reduce allergy-related complaints considerably. Healthier tenants are more resilient, also financially. Avoiding the standard landlord special also means you won’t have to replace it as often and cleaning is much quicker and easier.

Use appropriate materials in bathrooms, such as paint suitable for bathrooms instead of paint that will both peel and promote mould growth.

In kitchens and bathrooms, avoid the obligate two or three tiles and tile the entire surface or at least a larger surface.

Of course, never pitch neighbours (tenants and others) against each other because thereby, you often create a toxic atmosphere of paranoia, distrust and hostility.

Finally, providing a laundry facility – coin-operated or not – that tenants share can help your tenants keep their expenses down. That, too, will benefit you. Of course. It may be a daft American idea, but it works very well in practice and translates into fewer hassles for you, not more. Maintenance and cleaning, heck, you can work that out, can’t you?

If you pitch against your tenants, you’re essentially destroying capital. Theirs as well as yours. If you can’t see that, then you’re not the smartest person in the world.

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