As the end of another university academic year approaches, landlords need to be aware of the check-out process. Student tenancies tend to average between 8-12 months, so for landlords letting out HMO’S to students, preparation starts now for these shorter tenancy agreements. But what are the best ways to make this a smoother process and how can proptech can make it easier.
Inspections are vital throughout the tenancy, usually every 4 months, to make sure the property is being kept in adequate condition and to make sure that the flat/house is being kept up to the standards agreed in the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. It is important do this in advanced of the tenant check out in case there are any repairs needing to be fixed before they leave. This is important to stress as a positive thing to tenants as it means that money isn’t taken from their deposit at the end of their tenancy to fund these repairs. Additionally, this allows new tenants to move straight in without having to wait for any repairs/maintenance issues to be sorted.
Once a final inspection is complete, it is a good practice to send over a report that indicates any problems that need to be resolved or any maintenance issues. A report means you have evidence of the final inspection and have a paper trail if the tenant wishes to make a complaint against the landlord at the end of the tenancy. Take photographs of anything that does not comply with the tenancy agreement and ensure this is done alongside the tenant and that they sign a document which proves they have read and understood the contents.
Make sure that not only the compulsory actions and agreements have been met, but also outline expectations of the property’s condition at the end of the tenancy. For example, any walls that need a repaint due to blue tack marks, blown light bulbs or broken furniture. A professional clean might be necessary or a recovering of the sofas. The tenants would appreciate being reminded of this so they can deal with these problems independently without any deductions taken from their deposit. This should solve any disputes between the landlord and tenants and lead to a better relationship.
A good tip at the end of the tenancy is to invite the tenants to check out. This allows the tenants to see the process and understand /see evidence that will be documented in the report. This will ensure that both property manager/ owner and tenants are on the same page. If this relationship isn’t formed, disputes can occur causing big delays in deposits being returned and paperwork going back and forth which is a waste of time and money for both parties involved. In a case with student tenants, this is particularly important as they tend to stay in the same area for the 3 years during their university course and may find friends who would like to move in after the tenancy or carry on their lease another year. If both landlord/estate agents and tenant form a good relationship, then tenants could carry on the lease which benefits everyone.
There are ways that the communication between the landlord and tenants can be improved through better, streamlined property management. The use of proptech can help smooth the process by cutting down time and costs. One aspect of property management software is efficient inventory management. It works by listing inventory on one piece of software where all parties can access it anywhere and at any time. This is useful to keep track of what the tenant owns and what belongs to the landlord, proof of these can avoid disputes with the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Proptech software helps to streamline your business, especially if you are managing several HMO’s. Firstly, it constantly updates documentation to ensure you have a legal contract, notice etc. Secondly it reminds you as a landlord or property manager when something needs to be done. You can schedule when all the inspection reports are due throughout the year and most importantly the final inspection. You can then follow this up by sending reports out to your tenants who can have access to the software through an app/desktop. Furthermore, when the rent date is due- the software can remind you and the tenant, making sure no rent is missed. The same goes for reminders for certificates/safety checks that are due preventing you falling behind in terms of compliance. Technology systems like this simply make all documentation easily accessible, speeding up communication time and makes managing several tenancies ending at once a smoother process.
There are many property management platforms out there to help you manage your HMO. Student tenancies can often have many disputes, for instance not seeing eye to eye in terms of their view on the contract and what the expectations are. If you go through these tips, checking out your tenants’ will be a smoother process and using technology to assist in tenancy management should make this pain free.
Arthur Online property management software enables you to have complete control over all aspects of your portfolio and it’s accessible from your computer, tablet or mobile phone. Arthur Online brings landlords, tenants, contractors, agents and owners together all under the same interface, making problem solving a breeze. With our system, you can manage your portfolio from anywhere in the world, which is guaranteed to give you peace of mind as you expand your business. Arthur Online provides you with complete flexibility and is excellent for multi-unit properties (no matter what size) such as: student accommodation, blocks of flats and HMOs.
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