Renting out your property for the first time can be daunting. You have to worry about tenants, rent, legal problems and property maintenance.
Following these practical tips will make your life easier. So, if you’re ready to become a landlord, keep reading for great ideas to get you started.
1. Protect yourself
It’s smart to take out landlord insurance because typically if you have a mortgage, the lender requires you to do so. Also, if you have been living in the property, then your home insurance will not cover you for private letting.
You can get differing levels of insurance coverage, such as coverage for the property and contents of the property is furnished. Costs can vary depending on the location and type of the property, and the amount of coverage you want.
2. Keep your property in good condition
The first thing you have to do as a landlord is to keep your property in excellent condition. There are different responsibilities for landlord and tenants when it comes to a rental property’s conditions; however, most of these fall on the landlord. Your rental property must be free from hazards and damages of any sort. The property should be clean and fixtures and fittings in their appropriate place.
Do a thorough test of utilities such as electricity, heating, and plumbing to ensure they are secure. You don’t want to miss out on a potential buyer/renter because of a small fault in your property.
3. Make rent a priority
Rent is your earnings. Be ready to pursue rent and late charges if your tenant doesn’t pay their rent, offer an explanation and rectify their misdoing. If there are still no changes, it would be wise to begin eviction proceedings. If not, you could be owed months of rent before you know it – which is a worst-case scenario for any landlord.
4. Get and keep good tenants
Good tenants will make your role as a landlord easier and the best way to ensure you get that is to conduct background checks on any potential tenants. Ask reasonable questions about the renter’s finances, rental history and job security. When you have the time, verify the information presented to you with a credit check and references from their previous landlord and their current employer.
Once you have completed the screening process and found good tenants, it is your responsibility to keep them happy. Attend to the things that need repairs, listen to their suggestions and complaints, and maintain communication with them.
5. Adhere to fair housing regulations
There are substantial legal repercussions for breaching the Fair Housing Act here in the UK. This act has been put in place to ensure no person is discriminated against on the basis of age, disability, gender, sexuality, race, religion etc. Enlighten yourself on the rules, so prospective buyers/renters are not discriminated against.
Becoming a landlord is a big step and a full-time job in itself. However, if you are prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with the job, then it can also be extremely rewarding.