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How to Be an Absentee Landlord and Make it Work

Photo showing part of the dictionary definition of "Landlord"

An absentee landlord who rented out properties in London whilst basing himself in Dubai has been forced to pay back £20,700 to tenants. The landlord appointed his niece to liaise with the letting agent over an HMO that he rented out. However, she did not pass on the information from the management agreement that stated the landlord was responsible for licensing the property with the local authority. A tribunal returned the cash to four tenants.

 

But being an absentee landlord doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right protocols in place, you can make a profitable and compliant investment. This guide explains what an absentee landlord is and how to make lettings when you live at distance work for you.



What is an Absentee Landlord?


An absentee landlord is a property owner who rents out their property but does not live on-site or nearby. This distance can make direct management of the property challenging, but there are benefits to being an absentee landlord too.

 

Absentee landlords must ensure they maintain legal compliance, managing properties from afar, and maintaining effective communication with tenants.



Steps to Renting Property Remotely


Understand Your Legal Obligations


Legal duties are the most important element of being an absentee landlord to note. If you do not live in the jurisdiction, you might not be aware of them

 

Obligations in the UK include, but are not limited to, adhering to safety regulations such as annual gas safety checks and electrical equipment inspections, securing deposits in a government-backed scheme, providing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property and ensuring the tenants meet the government's Right to Rent checks.


Establish Effective Property Management


Absentee landlords should seriously consider employing a property management company. Services such as ours take away the burden of day-to-day property maintenance, tenant vetting and emergency response. All of which are incredibly difficult to achieve when you are not nearby.

 

Take a look at our Make Lettings Easier page to find out what our property management packages offer.


Ensure Efficient Communication


Just as we keep in contact with relatives online nowadays, there are a host of tools to maintain clear and constant communication with your tenants and property management team.

 

Use email, messaging apps and video calls to stay informed and address any issues promptly. This level of engagement not only reassures tenants of your commitment but also helps you detect any potential issues early.


Conduct Regular Property Inspections


Work with your letting agent or property management team to schedule regular property inspections These check-ups can prevent minor issues from escalating and ensure you are compliant with housing standards. They also demonstrate to tenants that their living conditions are a priority, helping the relationship with your tenants.

 

Instigate pre-check out reports too to make the moving out process smoother.


Invest in Comprehensive Landlord Insurance


Landlord insurance is vital for covering unexpected costs not typically covered by standard home insurance policies. This can include property damage, loss of rent and public liability. Given the unpredictability of property management from afar, such insurance provides a safety net that can protect your investment.


Building a Reliable Support Network


Create a network of trusted professionals, including a letting agent, solicitor knowledgeable in property law and dependable contractors, which your property management company will be able to help with.

 

This network is your first line of defence against the challenges. A local emergency contact can also be invaluable for addressing urgent issues that require immediate attention.



Absentee Landlord? Talk to Us


Being a successful absentee landlord in the UK requires a balanced approach of diligent management, legal compliance and proactive communication. By employing these strategies, you can ensure that your property is a safe, attractive option for tenants, while also protecting your investment. For help with property management, call us on 0208 5757630 today.

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