Every Landlord should know that: The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the broad term for the ability to control our home via a digital connection. Examples include Hive from British Gas, where you can control your heating from your phone. Digital TV, where you can set or cancel recordings from any device with internet connection and the right app. Or, Amazon Echo, that allows you to operate a multitude of devices remotely, without even being in your home.
The IoT is a digital development that lots of people are embracing, so is it time landlords did too?
Let Tenants Handle Smart Home Installations
If your tenants have installed some smart software that makes their lives easier, then that’s fine. Provided you agree and it’s not in contravention of your tenancy agreement. Of course, you can provide the basic requirements for smart devices. But, if you handle all the details, you’re at risk of having access to a lot more about your tenants’ behaviour. Most of the time you’re unlikely to snoop, but there could come a time when that changes.
To avoid falling foul and looking for information we recommend sticking with providing the basics. Let your tenants choose their preferred devices and passwords.
Do Your Reference Checks from Your Mobile
A number of new apps are being developed to make life as a landlord easier. For instance, you can share and save necessary paperwork online without a face-to-face meeting with Tenants. It combines instant messaging with the ability to upload and share relevant documents all from your phone. And that’s a convenient and cool idea.
Or, when you need to do the inventory at the beginning and end of each tenancy, there’s another useful app called inventory plus. It works by digitally cataloguing the inventory and condition of the property. The reports are easily stored, accessed, updated and shared. In short, in makes the inventory process a doddle for any DIY, Buy-to-Let landlord
Mobile Friendly Security for Landlord & Tenant
Where there are long-term tenants, in particular, they will want a security system they trust and find easy to use. Are remote door-locking and opening system the answer? After all, if they can lock and unlock their rented home from their phone, there’s always the danger someone else can, too.
So perhaps, this isn’t the way forward for landlords – yet. Installing a digital burglar alarm that identifies everyone who’s accessed it, could be a good investment.
Keep Up-to-Date and Attract Good Tenants
The most important thing to most landlords and tenants is finding someone they can trust. A landlord wants to know their tenant will pay the rent, bills and look after the property. A tenant wants to know their landlord will look after the property well and follow-up any queries or problems.
Adding smart IoT devices to your property can be a good idea, but be sure you’re doing the right thing for your target tenants. Don’t spend money needlessly or add to the potential problems that fall under your responsibility.
Going digital is a great idea, but perhaps its best to go down this route one step at-a-time.
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Alessio Tondo & Fabio Tarantino
Two ordinary guys who turned their passion into a business.
Rent 2 Rent specialists, London
Focused on how to Increase Your Rental Income.