22nd Feb, 2018
With so many legislative changes in 2017 – including wear and tear allowance, Right to Rent and licensing – it is more important than ever for landlords to understand their legal obligations.
But one thing we do believe, is that being a proprietor will remain a sound business investment in 2018. So, if you’re looking to buy a house to rent out, these tips will help keep you and your tenants happy!
Know your responsibilities
Before taking the steps to become a landlord, it is imperative that you understand the legal safeguards in place to protect both you and your tenant. You can read about these here: https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property
In addition to this, make sure you draw up a fair tenancy agreement to highlight where the responsibility lies for the upkeep of the property.
Screen potential tenants
It is worth taking the time to do a quick background and credit check on all of your potential tenants. Having an informal interview or chat with the person/people is also a good idea, to ensure that you are comfortable interacting with them – after all, they will be living in your property.
It is almost impossible to find the perfect tenant, but doing these simple checks will put your mind at ease when they move in.
Produce an inventory
This can be a very long and tedious task, but it is worth carefully detailing the contents and condition of everything in your house prior to your tenants moving in, in the event that any disagreements arise over damage.
Give out your contact details
Once you have secured a tenant, the first thing you should do is hand over your contact details – including mobile number and email address. If there are any problems with the property you are the only point of call for them, so they need to feel that they can contact you as and when required.
Remember, never ignore your tenant or they will be on the lookout for a new property in no time!
Be a quick fixer and don’t be cheap
If you have decided to go it alone as a landlord and manage your property yourself, make sure you’re quick to respond and address any problems. Nothing makes tenants unhappier than their issues remaining unacknowledged and letting time pass by without a fix.
Likewise, don’t bodge things up that require attention. If you do this the problem is likely to continue to reoccur, you’ll be pestered by your tenant and it will probably cost you more money in the long run. Keeping your property’s interior design up-to-date is another great tip to keep your tenant happy and remaining in the property for a long time.
Protect your tenants deposit
Legally, you must keep your tenant’s deposit in an approved scheme which offers both security for yourself and them. There are three different types to choose from – Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or Tenancy Deposit Scheme. You must supply the renter with all of the relevant information – which scheme you are using, how to apply to get their deposit back at the end of the lease, what the deposit is for and what to do if there is a dispute.
If you fail to comply – or even delay in submitting a tenants’ deposit – you can face legal charges and a fine of up to three times the amount of the fee in question.
If you need any further advice on becoming a landlord, or are still searching for the perfect property to rent out, you can contact one of our experienced lettings team here.
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