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First Time Landlord – Tips and Tricks

Many people decide to become landlords – first-time landlords – because they are unable to sell their property, or simply do not want to sell their property, and therefore, the best alternative is to rent the property out instead. 

For rental property in the U.K. in general, demand has rarely, if ever, been as high as it is now. For that reason, it’s an excellent time for you as a Leicester landlord to generate some extra income. 

However, you need to know your obligations as a landlord, and you’ll want to be completely ready for your first tenants. Here are some tips and tricks to help you to prepare for renting out your property. You’ll learn how to protect yourself, how to protect your property, and how to achieve maximum rental income. 

Prepare

Prior to the time that potential tenants start to view your property, all DIY tasks should be completed and the place should be perfectly clean. Are you thinking about letting your property as unfurnished or furnished? If you’re going the furnished route, do remember that you’ll require the appropriate insurance cover so that all of your furniture is fully protected against potential damages.

Opting for a letting agent

If you’re unable to deal with the management of your rental property because of lack of time or through personal choice, then a letting agent is the way to progress. 

Letting agents charge between 8% and 15% of the income made from rent. That may seem quite a lot, but a letting agent will work together with you to successfully find good tenants and to protect you, and your property, against any mishaps occurring.

While they, the letting agent, will find tenants for you, it’s sensible for you to be involved in the interviewing process. This way, you’ll be comfortable with your tenant choice. 

Further, you should make sure to get the best deal from the letting agent of your choice. 

Health and safety

Letting regulations in the U.K. are strict. You need to be in full compliance with electric, gas, furniture, and fire regulations. 

You can find out about these regulations online or by consulting with your letting agents if you decide to hire one. 

Otherwise, though, as a way of providing protection for your tenants, and your property, regular safety checks should be carried out and records maintained. The appropriate safety checks also work in ensuring that you have valid insurance. 

Finding tenants

If you’ve decided not to work with a letting agent, you’ll need to assess the references for your tenants yourself. There are websites like RentCheck’s Tenant Checking Service that charge a fixed price for assessing tenant references. 

One of the most important aspects to the assessment of potential tenants is to carry out a credit check. You’ll want to be assured that your tenants will be in a position to pay their rent when it’s due. 

Understand tenant and landlord rights

Because you wish to rent out your property, you should be conversant with tenant and landlord obligations. As an example, if you wish to enter your property while it’s being rented, the tenant must be given a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. 

Again, you can discuss this with your letting agent or find out more online. 

Write up a tenancy agreement

With a tenancy agreement, you provide protection for your rights as a landlord and for your property. 

In brief, a tenancy agreement details the length of tenancy as well as the amount of notice that a tenant will receive prior to eviction. 

Consult with your letting agent, if you have one, to find out more about your tenancy agreement. 

The rental deposit

You must, as a landlord, insist on a tenancy deposit. Since April of 2007, in the U.K., all tenant deposits must be registered by the landlord with a Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme. All TDP schemes must be pre-approved. 

Typically, a rental deposit will be equivalent to between four and six weeks’ rent. 

Your property inventory

If you want to ensure the protection of your rental property, you’ll want to put together a detailed property inventory. The property inventory needs to be accurate as it provides evidence as to the condition of the property prior to rental. The property inventory also dictates the provisions made to the tenant inside the property when they moved in. 

If the property is damaged or there is a dispute over the tenant’s deposit, the property inventory serves as proof of evidence. 

Landlord insurance

You should get landlord insurance. Standard insurance policies for households do not offer the level of protection that is required by a landlord. 

A solid insurance policy will cover loss of rent, professional, student, and DSS tenants, alternative accommodation, periods of no occupancy, accidental damage, the tracing and accessing of plumbing-related leaks, rent money protection, and legal expenses. 

Eviction

For the most part, tenancy agreements are completed once the tenancy agreement expires. 

On the other hand, if, for whatever reason, your tenants are not meeting the terms of the tenancy agreement, and you wish them to leave prior to the date of the tenancy agreement expiration, the only way to achieve this is by collating proof that the terms of the tenancy agreement have been broken. 

Again, it’s wise to hire a letting agent to handle this. Otherwise, you may need to consult with a lawyer at the outset.

Contact Open House Estate Agents for More Information

If you’re not sure how to go about letting your property or you’re concerned about the amount of red tape involved, get in touch with Open House Estate Agents. Open House estate agents in Leicester are a leading estate agents and we have many years of experience handling issues such as tenancy eviction, tenancy agreements, tenant and landlord rights, and much more besides. 

We regularly advise landlords about the correct processes involved in letting out a rental property. We’re here to help you, as a landlord, to experience a seamless landlord/ letting experience from the very beginning. 

Rahul Jain
Written by Rahul Jain
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