Presenting Your Property
One of the first considerations people have is what to leave, or what to put in. We would say aside from the main furnishings, remove anything that has monetary or sentimental value. Items such as cutlery and crockery are supplied by the tenant. When preparing a property for rental cost should be a crucial factor, often capital expenditure isn’t reflected in rental income. We prepare a detailed initial inspection report to advise you in this area and can arrange and coordinate any recommended works. We recommend professional photography for advertising purposes. This can be done for a nominal cost and the photos can be used for all future lettings.
Sourcing a Tenant
When deciding on a tenant, the two main criteria should be that they are in gainful employment and have rented before. This will show an ability to pay the rent and an understanding of what is required of them as tenants. When advising a landlord, we draw on our experience and instinct when recommending a tenant.
Prior to a tenant moving in the following will need to be finalised:
- One month’s rent in advance and one month’s deposit paid upfront
- Signed lease agreements
- Utility bills must be either transferred or cancelled
- An inventory needs to be prepared together with an inspection report
- A standing order for the rent should be set up
- The tenancy needs to be registered with the private Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)
MAINTENANCE & MANAGEMENT
Ideally there would be no maintenance issues; however the owner needs to prepare themselves for such eventualities. We have experience in dealing with every type of problem and draw on the expertise of our fully certified sub-contractors. Cost is an issue here and we have a bias towards fixing things rather than replacing them. We have a competitive fixed cost structure with our sub contractors that we pass onto our clients. In our experience, maintenance problems need to be dealt with quickly. They don’t go away and can manifest with poor tenant relations and/or potential further costs. With this in mind we have favourable credit terms with our sub-contractors allowing us to attend to maintenance issues efficiently. Prior to any maintenance work being carried out, the client is informed, with problems reported, solutions explained and costs agreed.
Income is the most important aspect when renting a property and should be prioritised. We use a customised software package to track rents when they come due. Late rents need to be acted on immediately with a resolution found promptly. Rent is unlike other bills in that it’s a fixed monthly payment that we expect tenants to pay without delay. In the unlikely event that the rent is significantly late, we advise the owner the steps necessary to resolve the situation.
Not only is good account management essential to measure and monitor your investment, it is required when completing your tax returns. Landlords are sent monthly statements together with original copies of any maintenance invoices to ensure transparency. Annual year end account summaries are available on request, making life easier for you or your accountant when completing your tax returns.
RENEWALS & INSPECTIONS
Under the revised Residential Tenancies Act, provided the rent does not exceed market rent, it can be increased by the rate of inflation, capped at 2% every 12 months, for more information see our guide for Rent Caps on brockdelappe.ie. Inspections are carried out during the changeover of tenancies and at client request. Reports are issued which give you a good indication of the condition of your property and will help you factor in future investment. We would caution against doing too many inspections as they can present the tenants with a forum for frivolous requests which will have to be considered.
From the outset the deposit should be retained separately and not treated as rental income. This will facilitate prompt refund provided the rent has been paid in full and the property has been left in suitable condition save for normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is extremely subjective and difficult to assess. In short a landlord can’t expect the property to be in the same condition as it was at the commencement of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy, we carry out an inspection and this report will include recommendations regarding the deposit refund.
For our letting and management service we charge 6% of the monthly rental income, payable on collection. The service is comprehensive; incorporating letting, maintenance, rent collection, account management and lease renewals. Our fee is designed to be competitive and by charging in this manner there are obvious cash flow benefits for the client. Please note our fee is subject to VAT at 23%.