As a landlord there are many things to be aware of in today’s market. Whether it’s issuing a tenancy agreement to managing compliance, letting a property can be a difficult process to manage. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ten tips we feel landlords should consider when it comes to letting a property.
1 Perfect the tenancy agreement
This is a contract between you and your tenants which specifies the rights of the landlord and the tenant. Most importantly, the contract should detail specific information such as the names of the tenants, the rental amount and the property’s address. The most common form of tenancy agreement is an AST but other forms can take place. It is vital to get the tenancy agreement right in order to protect both parties, further information on creating a tenancy agreement can be found on the GOV UK website.
2 Compliance is key
Correctly applying compliance to your property is vital in order to avoid a fine or potential prosecution. This can range from installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking your tenant’s right to rent, performing an EPC to issuing the correct documentation. We’ve written some useful guides on our blog into some recent compliance.
3 Consult the correct parties
Before letting the property, always consult the correct number of parties. It’s important to contact your contractors in order to ensure they are aware a tenant is going to be living in that particular property. Aside from contractors, it’s vital to notify your mortgage lender, local councils, utility suppliers and other relevant parties you may be working with.
4 Carry out regular inspections
Always make sure inspections are carried out on a regular basis. An “inspection clause” within the tenancy agreement should outline when you plan to carry out an inspection. Aside from this, separate visits to the property must be given at least 24 hours’ notice in advance of you attending the property. There are usually three main primary rights of entry a landlord needs to abide be, this being the right to carry out repairs, the right to inspect and the right to provide a cleaning service (Should this be stated in the tenancy agreement).
5 Purchase landlord insurance
Purchasing landlord insurance will ensure your property is insured should any financial loss occur whether this be damage to the building or contents. Make sure a specific landlord insurance is purchased as home insurance won’t cover you for any damage to the property by the tenant or any non-payment of rent.
6 Protect your deposits
Protecting your tenant’s deposit correctly is another important element of carrying out a successful letting. The deposit must be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme should you rent out a home on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) that started after 6th April 2007. There are three protection schemes you can choose to sign up to, these being the TDP, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and MyDeposits. Further information can be found here.
7 Follow the correct eviction procedure
As a landlord you are expected to follow the correct eviction procedure, this being by serving a section 21. Recent changes to the section 21 process have occurred meaning serving it is often a complicated procedure. We’ve written a useful guide we recommend following should you need to serve a section 21.
8 Answer the simple questions
It order to avoid confusion, it’s important to be able to answer your tenant’s simple questions. Whether they ask “what is the rent?”, “when are my inspections? or “how long is the tenancy?”. Furthermore, it’s important to know your property and the local area inside out. By providing your tenants will helpful information such as directions to the local school or supermarket, your tenants are more likely to feel confident in you as a landlord.
9 Do the maths
As well as this, as a landlord you are required to act as an accountant throughout the whole letting process. If you are unable to manage your accounts, an accountant will have to be hired to help you with the letting process. Aside from this, maintaining a rainy day fund will ensure you can afford the cost of any damage or unexpected events that may occur to the property.
10 Consider using a letting agent
Letting a property can be very time consuming, especially if you hold an alternative profession. As your portfolio of properties begins to grow, you may want to consider using an agent to take over the lettings process, to ensure you not just save time but are able to meet the onerous legal requirements.