In the current financial climate, young people are struggling to raise a deposit to buy their own home so more and more people are renting property rather than buying. Also many people wishing to sell their property are finding the market is so slow that they are deciding to rent out their property instead and become landlords for the first time. With the demand for rental properties at an all-time high it is a great time to become a landlord and generate extra income. However becoming a landlord does have its challenges and responsibilities.
Here are our top tips on what you need to think about when renting out a property and what you need to do to protect yourself, your property and maximise your rental income.
- Preparation – to find tenants and keep them it is vital to have a clean, well decorated and maintained property. Hire professionals to carry out work if your DIY skills are limited.
- Consider using a letting agent to manage the property for you if you are short of time, they will help you find tenants.
- Make sure the property complies with all fire, gas, electric and furniture safety regulations.
- Know the law regarding the rights and responsibilities of landlord and tenants.
- Draw up a tenancy agreement to protect you and your property. This should include details about notice/eviction periods, and who is responsible for the different aspects of maintenance of the property e.g. who cuts the grass?
- Make a full inventory of the contents of the property for your tenant to check and sign. This will avoid disputes later.
- Take a deposit from your tenants and place it in an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme.
- Make sure you have converted your mortgage on the property to a buy to let or have obtained consent to let from your lender.
- Get landlord insurance cover. Standard house insurance policies don’t provide a sufficient level of protection for landlords.
- Make sure that you keep all your rental statements and a record of any expenses that you have incurred in the course of letting your property. You will need these annually for your tax return.
At Peter Robinson & Co. we have 30 years of experience dealing with landlords and can give detailed advice to anyone looking to rent out their home instead of selling or purchasing a buy to let property for the first time.
Call Peter Robinson & Co. now on 0161 678 7996