Being a landlord is easy… or is it?

- Wed 27 Oct 2021

People let their properties for a number of reasons. It could be that they are struggling to sell; relocating to another area; going travelling or simply that a property has been purchased as an investment. Becoming a landlord can be time-consuming, but it’s also a great way to pay a mortgage on a home you’re not living in. However before you decide whether renting out your house is right for you may wish to consider a few pointers:

Finances – Do the maths to assess costs vs income. Consider any tax liability; insurance costs; maintenance costs; statutory safety check costs; mortgage & property costs during void periods between tenancies and any agent fees.

Consents – Seek all consents and permissions required to be able to let your property. You would be required to seek consent from your mortgage lender; your building and contents insurers; superior landlords and any other party having a legal interest in the subject property.

Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses Cover – This covers your monthly rental income if your tenants do not pay. It is different to ‘loss of rent’ cover which only pays out if you are unable to let your property due to damage covered by your landlord building insurance, e.g. fire.

Preparation & presentation – Consider giving the property a ‘mini make over’ to make sure it is well presented and in good repair and working order. Neutral colours schemes are generally favoured by tenants. Remove anything from the property that’s valuable or fragile and wherever possible, let the property unfurnished.

Appoint an agent – The best and most effective way to protect yourself as a landlord and your property investment!

Landlords often balk at the prospect of paying agent commission on their incoming rent and many are minded that an agent’s function once a property is let is to collect rent and deal with any maintenance issues. However this is something of a dated view given there are approximately 147 pieces of legislation relating to lettings and the fines for non-compliance are considerable. Just some of the tasks an agent will undertake on a landlords behalf include:

  • Advertising the property and advising upon a market rent.
  • Showing prospective tenants around.
  • Referencing and credit checking.
  • Immigration checks.
  • Arranging an EPC and ensuring MEES compliance.
  • Arranging statutory safety checks (gas, electrical, smoke/carbon alarms and so on).
  • Drawing up a tenancy agreement.
  • Providing a ‘how to rent’ checklist to your tenants.
  • Protecting the tenants deposit in a Government approved scheme.
  • Chasing late payments.
  • Rent increases.
  • Dealing directly with the tenant on your behalf when problems occur.
  • Providing guidance, expertise and support to landlords upon challenging matters.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list…..!

So if you are considering becoming a landlord, we hope the information provided above has proved helpful. Our staff are always willing to provide advice to ensure the lettings process is quick and free of stress. If you have any questions about letting a property, then please get in touch as we should be delighted to help.