Renting out your property can be a great income generator, but it’s not as easy a business as it may seem on the surface. In fact, it can be a real headache. If you have a good relationship with your tenants, they’re more likely to look after your property properly, pay their rent on time and leave your place clean, neat and in good condition when they go.
Step one to a good relationship: find the right kind of tenants!
Renting out your property to the first person who can raise the deposit is a recipe for disaster. Although those who are able to afford a prime property might look affluent and respectable, many landlords have found that after getting their deposit and their first month’s rental, things go pear-shaped. Rents don’t get paid on time, the house gets left in a shocking state when you finally manage to get the tenants to leave, and you lose out from beginning to end.
Important tip: Insist on contactable rental references, and be cautious about references involving private individuals rather than agencies. Agencies are in a better position to check on the tenants previous track record.
Make sure you have an iron-clad lease agreement, and go through it with your prospective tenants
A ‘standard’ lease agreement may not cover your needs. What if you prefer non-smoking tenants? If they sublet to someone you don’t know? How many people will be living in your house? Even pets can be a contentious issue. If someone moves in with umpteen dozen dogs, they might ruin your garden. On the subject of gardens, who will be responsible for keeping it neat? Some home owners prefer to keep their garden service contract in order to play it safe.
Any issues that you want to clear up before your new tenants move in should form part of the lease agreement and be discussed in advance to avoid disputes – otherwise you could find yourself in a nightmare situation with goodness-knows-what happening to your house while you’re renting it out.
Have a list of property maintenance service providers at your fingertips
Even if you have ‘perfect’ tenants, they will expect you to keep up your end of the bargain as a lessor. That might involve getting electrical faults repaired, calling in plumbers at the drop of a hat and so forth. And the more upmarket your property is, the faster your tenants will expect to get any problems attended to, and the less the amount of effort they’ll be willing to expend.
It’s also better to call in your own maintenance crews – people you know are professional and that you can trust. ‘Cheap’ repairs often end up costing you money! Be ready to organize excellent service at any time of the day or night.
Or get a good agency to handle it all for you
There are many pitfalls for the unwary when it comes to renting out a prime Mauritius property. Maintaining good relationships with your tenants can be hard work, and you have to be available for them 24/7. Ultimately, the best way to maintain a positive relationship with tenants and to ensure that your house is well looked after, is to make use of rental experts who know the ropes. It’ll save you a whole lot of hassle, and your property will be better managed than if you try to handle everything yourself.