In preparation of becoming a landlord, there are a number of things you need to consider to make sure that you are preparing your property effectively and to be ‘tenant ready’.
We have created some handy tips for you to guide you through these exciting times.
- Do your calculations. Make sure you consider the upfront costs of letting your property as well as giving consideration to any void periods in between tenancies. As a general guide, we would recommend calculating an income over a 10 month period but this is guidance only and it is important that you investigate all cost implications before proceeding.
- If the property you intend letting is mortgaged, you must first apply to your lender for permission to let as you may be in breach of your mortgage agreement if you don’t. It is also advisable to check that your insurance company are aware of your intentions to let the property.
- Find a letting agent that is accredited through a professional body like NALS, SAFEagent, and TPO to make sure that they are an independent complaints scheme member and offer client money protection.
- Don’t cut corners; it’s really not worth it. Quality repairs and workmanship that you can rely on is a more cost effective way forward.
- Remember that this is your investment, but it is a tenant’s home and a happy tenant will usually remain in the property longer term.
- Try not to become too emotionally attached to the property – distance yourself from the process. This can be difficult if you have invested time and effort into refurbishing the property to its current standard but you need to try to keep a relatively open mind about your potential tenants and don’t set unrealistic expectations, as this only reduces your target market.
- In terms of decorating and soft furnishings, keep it fresh and neutral. We recommend a thorough clean every two years and a fresh lick of paint if possible. A well-maintained, clean property will attract good tenants.
- Decide whether you want to let the property furnished or unfurnished.
- Safety – The safety of your tenants is very important so make sure you understand your responsibilities as a landlord. Some requirements are statutory requirements and some are recommendations.
- Decide whether you want us to manage your property for you on our Full Management service or if you would prefer to manage the property yourself on our Letting Only Service. Whilst there is a cost implication for our services, if you are inexperienced, busy or wanting to reside abroad, it could save you a lot of time, money and effort in the long run.
- Have a clear understanding of your lease if applicable so that you are not breaching conditions of the lease.
- Speak to your neighbours if you are able to; some neighbours can be resistant to let properties but if they are informed they can often be a good advocate for you.