If you're thinking about letting out your home, there are a number of important factors to consider before putting it up for rent. Here we have a few tips to help you understand your responsibilities as a landlord.
If your rent is set too high, or too low, prospective tenants will steer clear.
As a letting agent we will be able to help advise with this.
Personal belongings or items of value should be removed from the property, and be sure to clear out anything that is old and tired, not fit for purpose.
A property that offers a blank canvas is often more appealing to prospective tenants. Neutral colours will allow renters to picture themselves living in the space, and will also make the property easy to maintain at each check-in/check-out. And don't forget the exterior of the house—general sprucing of outdoor spaces will make the property more attractive to renters.
Think about having a professional carry out a deep clean. Professional cleaners will scrub everything from the windows to the oven—they'll even get down behind radiators.
Make copies of any keys that a tenant may need for windows and doors, or for gas and electricity meters. It's always helpful to dig out instruction manuals for the boiler, alarm system, cooker and any white goods, so the tenant has them to hand as soon as they move in.
It is very important that your current buildings and contents insurer is made aware of your intention to let your property, as your policy will probably need to be amended.
Consider arranging landlord insurance, which will cover any financial losses connected with your rental property. Whilst landlord insurance isn't a legal requirement, it is advisable as the policy will protect the building, your tenants and your investment as a whole—some policies will also pay out if your tenant misses their rent payments.
Becoming a Landlord comes with great responsibility. You will be accountable for all repairs and maintenance and taking care of refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the property when required outside of tenant damage.
When it comes to being a landlord, there are so many regulations to comply with. To put it into perspective, there are currently around 145 laws that landlords need to adhere to when letting a property.
Landlords are expected to carry out credit and right to rent checks in line with immigration laws (in England), take and protect deposits, have all essential paperwork in place and ensure the property is fit for habitation and safe for your tenant.
The safety of your tenants is very important, so you must also arrange a Gas Safety check every year. It's also a good idea to make sure all electrical appliances and wiring are tested regularly too. Finally, it goes without saying that your rental property should be fitted with smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors where necessary.
By law, your property needs to have an EPC (energy performance certificate), and it needs to be Band E or above. You won't be able to market the property unless you reach this standard and have a certificate to prove it, so get it sorted as soon as possible - they're valid for 10 years.
Tenants must be provided with an up to date rental information pack. Landlords must order an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which contains information about a property's energy use and typical energy costs, and recommendations for tenants about how to reduce energy use and save money.
You can find more information about your legal responsibilities on the gov.uk website.
If you're looking for a tenant and not sure where to start, why not give us a call and speak to one of our Lettings experts. As your appointed agent we would undertake the reference and credit checks (and right to rent checks if you're property is in England) on potential tenants to ensure everything is reliable. We will ensure that you are fully compliant.