Know The Specifics Of Your BTL Property

Auuurrghh tandoori chicken shit balls. The other day I shamefully got caught out when my new tenant asked me questions that I didn’t know the answers to! I should have known the answers, they were questions directly relating to the BTL property. Fortunately, I managed to answer the majority of his questions, but he threw a few curve balls that fucked up my flow.

I tried blagging the answers, but I think it was a little transparent that I didn’t have a fucking clue. While I was stuttering, I tried to buy time by filling my sentences with conjunctions so I could think of appropriate answers. But all I could think about was how lousy I came across. Eventually, I just buckled under pressure and said, “I’ll find out, and get back to you” (which I did, on the same day).

I guess knowing how much the rent is each month isn’t enough anymore- tenants require all kinds of information *mutters*

Here are the questions that caught me out:

  • Which Council tax band is the property in? (I knew how much the council tax was, just didn’t know which band)
  • Where is the water meter? Seriously, I didn’t have a clue. I eventually had to call the water company to find out it’s location. It turned out to be outside the neughbours’ house
  • Where is the tap to turn off the main water supply?
  • Which day does the garbage get collected?

The important message here is that you should know your own property inside and out, otherwise you could end up looking like a complete tit (like I did) if you actually get tenants that ask the right questions. Actually, I don’t think I came across THAT bad. I mean, my tenant seemed cool with my ignorance, but I just personally felt a little unprofessional. Bah.

Anyways, here are some more questions that I think landlords should know the answers to:

  • Who currently supplies the water and gas & electricity?
  • Where is the gas & electricity metres?
  • Which phone company is currently installed?
  • How do the hot water and heating controls/timers work?

Can anyone think of more questions that a landlord is expected to know the answers to? More curiously, are you a landlord that has been tossed a question which threw you off guard? Or perhaps you’re a tenant that asked the most basic of question which the landlord couldn’t answer? TALK TO ME!

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4 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Dan Harrison 29th April, 2009 @ 17:46

Something that I personally did was to label all the major switches (cutoffs/heating/etc) with labels from a labelling machine. Tenant really appreciated that when she moved in.

I also wrote a "Flat Driving Manual", which explained everything I knew about the flat, how it works, when things go wrong, how best to contact me, etc.

Dan

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Jools 30th April, 2009 @ 16:39

Great idea about the manual Dan - will have to do that. I too label all obvious and non obvious switches etc with a labelling machine. Just looks professional and tidy.

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Jools 30th April, 2009 @ 16:51

Question I was asked recently - can I use the attic for storage? Answer: No due to health and safety issues and insurance cover.

Question: Can I keep a pet?
Answer: Only with a specific animal agreement annex added to the AST.

Question: Can you get my OCD housemate who is a compulsive cleaner to stop F*****g well following me around cleaning up after me ALL the time?
Answer: Sorry - not my area of expertise and she is keeping my house spotless! Has she got a friend for my other houses?

Question: The light wont work.
Answer: Have you tried switching it on and off.
Q: Yes.
A: HAve you tried replacing the bulb?
Q: No.
a: Ok replace the bulb.
later...
Q: Still wont work.
A: Do other lights work?
Q: No!
A: Have you checked main RCD board.
Q: Where is that?
A; In hallway by stairs, open the door and check to make sure all is green.
Sounds of door opening and scratching around.
Q: All green.
A: (Frustrated) Ok leave it with me. Will get someone to pop around.
Later:
Q: lights still not coming on - well they did and then went off and then back on again.
A: thats really strange - not sure what else to suggest as my sparky says all is ok.Lights were fine when he was there.
Q: Could it be the power cut that happened earlier?
A: (sound of phone being replaced) Fuckwit!

3
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SN 7th May, 2009 @ 17:53

Jools, great post! :D

4

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