Contract Length

I never give a tenant a tenancy longer than 6 months It is a temptation to tie a tenant into a 12-month contract but  irrespective of how good their references are you won’t know how good a tenant is until they take up occupation.

I believe a short tenancy is safer because if the tenant turns out to be a problem you can get possession under a section 21 notice in 6 months rather than 12 months. After 6 months you can always allow the tenancy to become periodic, or issue a new tenancy if all is well.


Property Inspection

I never skip a property inspection. By carrying out regular inspections I can identify problems before they get out of hand, the sooner I am aware the safer I am.


Buy for the Long Term

I never buy on the basis that property values will increase, and it will make a big capital gain. This may have been true in the mid 2000 but times have changed, and I can’t see this happening soon. I always look to buy to let as a long-term strategy, and capital appreciation is a bonus

Never Hassle Tenants

I never hassle tenants. The law is very clear in this respect, a landlord could be guilty of a criminal offence if they’re acts are likely to interfere with the peace and comfort of the residential occupier, or member of his household. They persistently withdraw or withhold services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises. I feel the law as it stands is biased towards the tenant but” it is what it is” and consequently the landlord has to live with it.


I never forget to secure a deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme, failure to do so correctly can prohibit a landlord from using a section 21 notice.for details on protecting a deposit press here


I always produce a full inventory ,if a tenant is in dispute regarding a deposit refund the case will be decided by an adjudicator, who will put reliance on the inventory in deciding the outcome. There appears to be an assumption that it is the landlord’s responsibility, as a competent person, to provide a professional inventory.If they failed to do so competently it will weigh heavily against them to their detriment.

Details on preparing an inventory

Check the Small Print

I always check the small print in a letting agents’ contract, so as to understand what fees are involved. I am particularly aware of what the agents fees are in respect of renewing a tenancy, as they often try and charge an exorbitant fee for what is a very simple procedure.

For details on securing a letting agent press here details in our notes

Extra Checks

I always carry out extra checks if I am considering letting to a tenant claiming housing benefit.

Details on letting to tenants on benefits here


I always prefer to try to secure a guarantor, especially when tenants are on housing benefit. This provides me with extra security.for details on guarantors press here

Rent Payment

I always check whether rent has been paid on time. The sooner that I am aware of arrears the safer I am. The greater the arrears the less likelihood I am to ever getting them paid. It is it better to start chasing when a tenant has a few days in arrears than a month of more.

I have over the years been promised by tenants who leave owing  me rent that they will absolutely make arrangements to pay me back. It’s never happened on a single occasion.

Annual Gas Certificate

I sometimes miss out on anniversaries but I never miss the annual renewal of the Gas Safety Certificate. If I miss my wife’s anniversary I may get grief but to date it’s not a criminal offence. If a miss a certificate renewal it is.

Details on gas certificates here

Tenants Confirmation Letter

I always make certain that when i create  a tenancy I have the” tenants confirmation letter” confirming the documents they have received. This can be vital when applying for possession under either section 21, or section 8 notice. If this is not done the tenant can dispute that he has received the prescribed information.

Details see tenants confirmation letter.



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