Tenant References

When choosing the right tenant for your property there is nothing more valuable than a reference. Not only do landlords like them, landlord insurance providers like them too. This is because they have proof of a good history as a tenant. This means the chances of them carrying on being a good tenant is very likely.

Once you have found a potential tenant, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a reference is to phone their ex-landlord. Make sure you ask all the right questions. You want to know if there were any problems and if so what they were and why they left their previous home. Don’t assume though if there was a disagreement between landlord and tenant then than means they are a bad tenants. There are always two sides, all you need to worry about is if the tenant was in the wrong or not.

There is a slight difficulty though when it comes to tenants who are first time renters. This doesn’t mean though you can’t look for a reference elsewhere e.g. employers. However, many will be reluctant to give out too much information but if your potential tenant went to university you might be able to ask their Uni for a reference.

Do remember as a landlord yourself you may be asked to give references. It does take up a lot of time and rarely adds any value in monetary terms to you property. The more references there are ait means the chances of other landlords getting bad tenants and this will hopefully make the letting sector less risky and therefore more profitable.

You should always let your potential tenants know you will be asking for a reference and just double check they are happy for you to ask. If they aren’t this should sound alarm bells in itself so be careful and sensible when choosing your next tenants

Letting Studio Flats

When starting out as a landlord, one of the best property types to buy is probably a studio flat. This is because they are cheap to buy and maintain. This means that once you start letting it out you can quickly build up your portfolio and generate even more income. However, insuring this income is regular for your studio flat is essential.

Trying to make a studio flat look a great place to live can be difficult because it is just one room. This means décor needs to be light and by adding mirrors to the walls this can really help increase the appearance of added space. Also if you are lucky enough to have big windows, instead of opting for heavy curtains, consider blinds. Make sure if you chose to furnish the flat you choose pieces that are of good quality. It is easier to spot cheap furniture in a studio flat and this will put many prospective tenants off.

Tenancies are often short in studio flats because the majority of tenants that will be living here will be on their own. This means having a good landlord insurance policy in place is essential as more tenants means more chance of damage.

Choose advertising that is sensible. Going through a letting agent for a studio flat is not the best option. Those looking to rent a studio flat are probably looking to keep their costs to a minimum and will be thankful that they don’t have to go through an agent.

Choosing a studio flat in a good area is also key, location and decoration will really add value to your property.

Going Off Road with your Motorhome

When taking a holiday in your motorhome going off road is probably the last thing you think about doing with it. However, there are many wild campers out there who love taking their beloved motorhomes to new terrains to see what idyllic scenery they can find. Somewhere in everyone there is a little sense of adventure so we have put together a few tips in helping you take on your adventure safely.

Of course the most obvious is making sure you have the right vehicle for going off road. A few things to consider are: ground clearance, you want to make sure you have enough space under your motorhome for large rocks etc. without causing any damage. Next is checking that your motorhome isn’t too top heavy. Having a top box for going off road is not advised. If your vehicle is top heavy you might end up rolling it. Four wheel drive is also essential, as well as a lower tyre pressure than you would normally have.

It is inevitable that you are going to come across some tricky terrains so making sure you have full control of your vehicle is a must. Obviously going slow will help you to correct and mistakes or difficulties you fall into. Staying in low gears and avoiding using the foot brake will also help. This means the chance of slipping and sliding is reduced.

Talking about going off road in a motorhome and going off road in a 4×4 are two different things. In a motorhome you need to be careful and make sure your aim is to find a great place to camp, not a sport. It is always a good idea to check you aren’t travelling on private land too as this will get you in trouble. There will probably be other campers looking for a great place to camp out in the wild to so make sure you are wary of this.

Another must is making sure that your motorhome insurance is valid whilst travelling off road as more accidents and damage can occur than driving on the road.

Huge Interest In Horse Ballet

Since the Olympics we have all heard about the increase in interest in range of sports but it turns out one of the sports that has benefited most from the games is Dressage.

Horse ballet is becoming extremely popular amongst the younger generation and especially in Yorkshire. It turns out the coverage in the Games has inspired the public.

The governing body for the sport is keen to get more young people into the sport although they insist it is not all top hats and tiaras but a lot of hard but and great fun. The Games provided the public with a role model in Charlotte Dujadin who won.

There are costs that come with riding a horse everything from riding boots to horsebox insurance. However, the preconception of the sport before was that the individual needs to have lots of money behind them but Charlotte has proved otherwise, which is a great comfort to the public, especially in the current economy.

A riding school in North Yorkshire is planning on encouraging more riders into the sport. Snainton Riding Centre is near Scarborough and they have already had to change to fit in with the times over the last 45 years so more change and growth is not hard for them.

Charlotte Wilson is a partner at the centre and she has said, “We could not believe the large number of young riders attending out unaffiliated competitions this year and we have been impressed by the standard of riding and commitment that they have shown to be putting in to their performances, particularly as many of them have shown to be putting in to their performances, particularly as many of them are new to dressage or only have weekly lessons on one of our riding school ponies, so time to practise is often limited.”

For eight years now the school have been running affiliated and unaffiliated British Dressages competitions but this year was the first year they ran a Junior Championship due to the interest from younger generations.

Doing it Alone

During the economic climate one of the safest investments has been in property and many people have turned to this as a solution for generating extra income and protecting their money. A mistake that many make is going straight to a letting agent. Many choose an agent to prevent void periods right from the start. However, keeping costs down is essential for most at the moment, and even more so if you are trying to generate some more income. Independent letting can be great, so here are a few reasons why:

There are no extra costs when letting independently. As a landlord you don’t want to incur too many extra costs as you may have to pass the cost onto tenants driving up rental prices. Right now, high rental prices aren’t going to draw in tenants as most are struggling as it is.

Letting agents are great if you don’ have much time to manage the property yourself. If you do though, what’s stopping you from being a hands on landlord? By doing it on your own, you can choose your own fees, furnishings and landlord insurance policy without worrying about someone else’s opinion. To do it on your own, you do have to be confident in your decisions and does require some time put in.

By having a third party involved in your tenancy then it is often easier for tenants to try and get cheaper rates or build a case against you. However, if the tenant is dealing directly with you, the landlord, then agreements are often a lot fairer for both parties. This makes your service a lot more personal and honest.

When it comes to deciding whether to have a letting agent or not there is no right or wrong answer. You have to decide what is best for your situation but don’t rule out doing it alone just because it is your first go and letting out a property. There can be great benefits if you are confident about your decisions and you have some time to spare.

Winter Preparations

When September falls every year, we usually see this as a sign that summer is over and we have to start getting ready for winter. However, the weather at the moment seems to be playing catch up from the miserable summer we experienced this year. So when Mother Nature gets back in sink and the winter finally hits, we thought we would give you a few tips now to help you prepare your motorhome for the summer.

Obviously we would all love to be travelling around in our motorhomes all year long but unfortunately this isn’t the case in the UK. This means that the majority of motorhomes will go un-used till next spring. This means turning the engine over regularly is essential. If not then the engine will struggle in six months’ time. Turning over the engine means that the parts stay lubricated and hopefully preventing a build-up of problems within the engine over the winter months.

Although we aren’t all lucky enough to have a garage big enough to house a motorhome there are places where they can be stored over the winter. If you can find one that has garages available this is a good idea to protect the vehicle from the frost.

There have been some stories around of people that have left the windows and doors to their motorhome open while it is in storage. We assume they have done this o stop the damp musky smell however this does leave the vehicle vulnerable to mice. Once the mice are inside they will cause a lot of damage and this is unlikely to be covered by a motorhome insurance policy.

They key to avoiding a claim is to look after your motorhome even when you aren’t using it. Turn over the engine; protect it from frost and freeze-thaw and from unwanted visitors.