Becoming a landlord can be a rewarding endeavour, but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park! Aside from having to acquire a suitable property, you must also make sure that it is in good condition, that it meets all minimum maintenance standards and, crucially, that it has responsible tenants to pay for it!
Indeed, being a landlord is very much an ongoing commitment. Failing to take proper care of your property can land you in serious hot water, with fines for certain offences being potentially unlimited. An experienced local estate agent can help to keep your running, even booking repairs and maintenance services on your behalf, though an ongoing arrangement like this will usually cost between 10 and 15% of your property’s rental payments.
So, what do you need to know about renting out a property in the UK, and what are the most important things to cover when finding new tenants?
Before we get started on how to become a landlord, there are just a few things to get out of the way:
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the property that you intend to put on the market. You may be intending to clean it up and redecorate it, which is certainly advisable if you want to make a good impression, but what you should really be concerned about is whether or not the property is completely safe for tenants.
There are several minimum standards which your property will need to meet if you want to avoid some serious fines (or, worse, some trips to the hospital for your tenants).
These aspects of property management are mandatory:
This may sound like a lot, but we did say earlier that being a landlord is very much an ongoing commitment. You will need to pay close attention to your property over time, dealing with any repairs and maintenance issues quickly and ensuring that tenants are kept happy. This can take up so much time that landlords will often be more than happy to pay an estate agent for comprehensive property management services.
We have gone into detail before about how to find the top tenants for a rental property. Obviously you want tenants who will pay rent on time, take good care of the building and avoid landing you with any potential fines. It is certainly worth taking the time to make a comprehensive tenancy interview checklist, as this will make it much easier to filter through the candidates until you find your ideal choices.
However, there are two aspects to taking on new tenants that you must pay particularly close attention to: