Landlord accounts and maintaining them


If you have a number of properties on the go, it might be best to hand over accounting duties to a chartered accountant or a management agent. It will cost you, but you can be confident that they’ll be maintained correctly. Also if your agent uses Rentview all your accounts will be viewable at the click of a button for you. If you’d prefer to do them yourself, you have the choice of either writing them out or using Microsoft Excel. It is a matter of comfort, but Excel does have advantages over manual accounting.

Spreadsheets store huge amounts of information & can be corrected easily

Have an inbuilt calculator function

More secure through password protection and back-up copies

Less cumbersome and easy to carry around if stored on a memory stick

More flexible in terms of presentation

As for the accounts themselves, they will need to contain figures on rental income charged and received, expenses and any capital costs. Expenses include insurance, utility bills, maintenance etc.

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You may also be interested in our blog – New landlords accounts page

by Andreas Riha

Rent Arrears Notice


The rent is late; there’s no sign of it being paid and you can’t get in contact with the tenant. What can you do? Depending on the relationship with the tenant, a gentle written reminder stating that it is late and providing contact details may be enough. Unfortunately, many times this won’t be the case and you may have to go down the route of issuing a 14 day rent arrears notice.

Residential Tenancies Act

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, this notice must be in written form, specify the date the notice is served, the amount of rent due that has not been paid and if the amount isn’t paid with 14 days of the date of receiving the notice, a 28 day notice of termination may be issued. The safest way to issue this is through registered post, but there is an easier alternative. Rentview will automatically generate this notice for you and sent it to the tenant at the appropriate time, taking the hassle out of drafting the document and sending it. Visit the website for this and many other services.

Here is an example of a rent arrears notice

You also might be interested in –

PRTB Adjudication process & Rent payment issues and tenants

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by Andreas Riha

Parking in apartments


Parking Permits

Parking permits are the norm for parking in apartment complexes nowadays. The introduction of parking permits in apartments was necessary to reduce the possibility of people parking in the wrong space or a space that is reserved for someone else.

Property management companies

Property management companies benefit from parking permits in apartments in a couple of ways, below are the main ones.

Collecting management fees

If a property’s management fees were not paid, a parking permit would not be issued by the property management company. If the property was a let property, the tenant faced the possibility of clamping and as a result the pressure was placed on the landlord to pay the fee or face an empty rental property.

Managing Illegal parking

If parking within some complexes is not enforced, it can lead to illegal parking which is both dangerous and a problem. Think of cars parked on paths and corners which block pedestrians’ view of crossing. One of the serious pet hates amongst many drivers is double space parkers such as below.


No permit

For an apartment complex with a greater number of car parking spaces, for a number of properties an agent could be tempted to not organise a permit. Before an agent does this they should consider this situation – the agent lets the apartment and the tenant moves in happily. The next day the agent receives a phone call from the tenants saying they have been clamped, and there’s a fine waiting to be paid. The tenant could potentially leave the agency liable for the clamping fine, or the tenant could argue that the landlord should pay. Sounds like quite a mess, doesn’t it?

Here are a few of solutions. Firstly, don’t move the tenants in until you are sure that there’s a fully paid permit in place. Or if the tenants are eager to move in and there is no permit available as yet, explicitly state in the contract that this is the case and give the date one is expected to be received. Also include who should pay the fine if the tenant is clamped in the interim.

Clamping fines

Fines will vary from £20-£180 depending on the location and the clamping companies policy. Some other changes include banning clamping in hospitals, introducing a two-tier appeals process, providing more ways of paying the fine and having a register of clamping operators. These operators can be quite difficult to deal with, as your situation isn’t as important to them as getting the fine paid.


Image Credit EllBrown

On street parking

County councils offer parking permits to residents for on-street parking, enquire with your council to see if you qualify. As a landlord, tenant or managing agent you can apply to your county or town council for on-street parking permits. Each council differs in its requirements so contact your local council to see if you qualify.

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Preparing a rental property


Showings are a key part of the rental process, they allow potential tenants to get a good feel of the property, which goes a long way in helping them decide whether to rent or not. They can also be a handy tenant screening process to find out which potential tenants match the landlord’s requirements. Showings are generally easier when the property is currently vacant as it gives more time to prepare. Try to arrange all showings for the same day so no time is wasted, but make sure the times are staggered so there’ll be no overlap. If the property is occupied then this may be more difficult.

Preparing a rental property

Before the showing: Make sure the property is in tip top shape. This will mean notifying the landlord of any damages/repairs needed, possibly arranging carpenters, plumbers etc. to fix problem areas. The property will need to be cleaned from top to bottom which the landlord may be happy to do, or they may require the services of a professional cleaning company. Freshen up the walls and floors if they’re looking dull with some new paint or a proper cleaning. Repainting can have the wonderful effect of re-energising a room and making it look brand new. Again, this will all need the go ahead from the landlord. Don’t forget to mention any problems with the exterior of the property or the garden.

If needs be, get in a professional cleaning company. There are lots of cleaning companies specialising in end of tenancy cleaning which will help in preparing a rental property for showing.


On the day of the showing: Do a last minute check to make sure everything is satisfactory. If there are any unpleasant smells, eradicate them with an air freshener spray or some incense. Make sure the property is well-lit; open curtains and turn on lights if necessary. Prepare to answer all questions to the best of your ability. This will mean knowing the property and the area inside out, as potential tenants are bound to have many questions for you.

If there are tenants currently living in the property: If you have built a good relationship with the tenants then there should be no problem in asking them to do a bit of cleaning and tidying before the showing. There should also be no problem in asking them to vacate the property to allow the showing to take place. This is the ideal, and we all know that tenants can be problematic. If they are letting you down during showings then you must talk to them. Explain why the property needs to look a certain way and politely ask them to make sure it’s that way in future. If there’s no improvement, provide some sort of incentive for them, like a voucher for a restaurant or a reduction in the last month’s rent. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to get the PRTB involved.

You might also be interested in the following blog – Choosing the right tenant and managing your rental payments

Please feel free to comment or add on preparing a rental property,  tweet or follow us.

by Andreas Riha

Tenant Complaints About Noisy Neighbours


One of the risks with renting or buying a property is you don’t know who your neighbours are. You don’t know if the neighbours are renting or buying, what kind of people they are etc. Rented properties tend to have more issues associated with them. It’s difficult to figure out a reason why this is the case, maybe it’s because the properties isn’t theirs that they don’t feel the same duty of care to it, but that discussion is a touch tangential to the topic at hand. It can be very frustrating as an agent to be getting complaints from tenants about the neighbours’ activities which are seemingly out of your control. So what can you do? Ask your tenant to keep a log of the noise to see if a pattern emerges. Then try to talk to the neighbours directly, in a polite way of course. Being overly accusatory isn’t going to work. If the noise persists, the following is a route to take.

1. Find out who the management company in charge of the property or the landlord is and get in contact with them to inform them of the complaint

2. If the problem is not fixed, write them a formal letter on company headed paper asking them to fix the problem and inform them of the possibility of PRTB action or eviction

3. If it still isn’t fixed, make a third party complaint to the PRTB (this costs €25 and the complaint form can be found on their website)

If the property is a local authority house, then the local authority would be the first place to contact after the neighbours. In some extreme cases, the Gardaí may be better equipped to handle the problem, or at least would work in conjunction with the other parties involved.

You may also be interested in our blog on Keeping a tenant happy & Choosing the right tenant

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Best Places to Market Your Rental

If you have a property that’s ready for rental, you need to find tenants for it. You want the property rented quickly; therefore you need the maximum amount of people possible to see it. The obvious place to market your rental on is the internet. But the internet is almost unfathomably large, so where exactly should you start? The first place is undoubtedly the property portals;, etc. They are the first sites people think of when looking for a property. Next up, social networking sites. They are very much the ‘flavour of the month’ for marketers. The two key sites are Facebook and Twitter. Set up profiles on both, where you can advertise the property, share links to or and generally engage with potential tenants. Twitter isn’t as good for providing a lot of detail on properties, so it’s more effectively used by giving brief updates or sharing links. Like or follow the profiles of other property management and estate agent companies. People who are browsing the pages of other companies will be looking for a whole range of companies and so will click on your page if they see it. 

We could talk about the virtues of social media marketing all day, but in doing so would miss out on less tech savvy potential tenants. These people may be technophobes, just aren’t familiar enough with the internet and the technology needed to access it or simply don’t like the internet. For these reasons, attention should be given to the more traditional outlets. Newspapers, the radio and leaflets are all effective ways of communicating the message to people.A sign outside the property can catch the attention of passers-by, who either could be looking for a property themselves or know somebody who is. These signs should have your company logo, phone number and website to make it easy for potential tenants to get in contact. The same can be applied to notices in bulletins boards in local shops, community centres, libraries and colleges. Finally, if you want to be particularly creative you could wear a large sign around your neck with a picture of the property and some key details about it. It may get more laughs than potential tenant interest, but it certainly would be attention grabbing!

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Tenant reference check questions


As much as landlords want their property rented and off the market, they want the right tenant and not one that will end up costing them more than if they left the property empty.

Reference checking is one way to ensure an A+ tenant rents the property. There are three key reference sources; bank/building society, employer and previous landlord. While confidentiality clauses will prevent detailed information from being discussed, banks can provide proof of financial stability and capability to pay. Similarly, employers can provide financial information that indicates a tenant’s ability to pay.

Employment Reference

A typical rule of thumb would for the rent not exceed the tenant(s) income by 35%. Aside from financial information, employers can provide personal information; what is the tenant like to work with, confirmation of details such as current address, job position etc.

Landlord reference

Possibly the most important reference is the one from a previous landlord. This will provide you with key information that may make or break an agreement. A few questions will reveal what rent was paid, if it was paid on time and what the person was like as a tenant.

Some useful tenant reference check questions to ask:

  • Was the tenant unreasonable in any way? 
  • Why did the tenant move out? 
  • How long did the tenant rent the property?
  • Was the rent paid on time?
  • Would you rent to this person again? 
  • Were there any complaints from other tenants?
  • Did they cause any major maintenance issues?

What are the tenant reference check questions you would ask?

by Andreas Riha

Property management and good customer service

Property management – How important is good customer service?

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, your business would more than likely not exist. Due to the fact that they’re so vital, it’s important that they’re retained and don’t take their business elsewhere. One of the best ways to do this is by offering excellent customer service. This is especially important for property managers, as you’re in direct contact with your customers a lot more than many other businesses.


Poor customer service gets talked about. A lot. People are very willing to spread negative stories, whether it is just to their friends, or more dangerously, by posting their experience online. Marketers are waking up to the power of word of mouth, and so should you. It has been proven that negative word of mouth is more common and effective than positive word of mouth, but that’s not to say that positive experiences are ignored entirely. Providing excellent customer service encourages positivity and loyalty to the company, which is exactly what you want. After all, it can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer that it does to retain a current one. In saying that, current/old customers can do some of the job by attracting potential customers through positive word of mouth.

If your customer service is not up to scratch and you don’t know how to begin to improve it, it may be worth your while looking at the customer service life cycle model. Often mentioned in relation to the area of information systems, this model breaks the business/customer relationship down into a number of stages. Identifying these stages is a good starting point as it will be easier to pick out areas that need improvement and what priority they should get. Doing this may be a bit time-consuming, so in the meantime there are some basic guidelines you can follow to improve your customer service.

Customer service in property management

Build rapport with your customer – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a landlord or a tenant; you need to connect with your customers. For first time customers, simple things like introducing yourself, engaging in a little bit of small talk and asking how you can help them all work towards building a lasting relationship. Don’t forget your manners and do show genuine interest in the customer by listening and taking notes if necessary.

If you’re dealing with a landlord/tenant when another one appears needing your attention, politely ask them to wait a few minutes and offer them a tea or coffee.

Deal with problems immediately, as much as is possible. Complaints mean unhappy customers and unhappy customers leave very quickly. If a rent is late, keep chasing it and reassure the landlord that they’ll get it soon.

Keep your promises. If you say you’ll get an electricity account switched over by the end of the day, make sure you do.

Finally, go that little bit further for the customer. Even if it’s not fully part of your job, doing something small like offering advice will make customers feel that you truly care and increases the chances of the customer engaging in positive word of mouth.

There is letting agency software available that will help you provide greater customer service, why not research the area and see what fits your needs?

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Thanks for reading!

by Andreas Riha