Becoming a landlord can be extremely lucrative if done correctly and is an attractive option for many people both as a career option and as a way to make additional income on top of what they already earn.
Despite the popularity there are a number of aspects that many first time landlords either forget or don’t understand about becoming a landlord and what it takes to become successful. With that in mind, here is some essential advice about what a new landlord needs to know when getting started.
There are usually two types of landlords, those who have purchased a property with the intent to Let and accidental landlords, who may have inherited a home and are therefore looking for the right steps to take in order to manage the property.
Before you even advertise your property online and begin finding potential tenants, the first steps to take when acquiring a property is preparing it to be rented.
This includes ensuring all DIY projects are complete, that all furniture is included or removed (depending on whether you are renting the property furnished or unfurnished) and ensuring that any safety checks have been carried out as well as making sure that you have all the relevant insurance in place and ready to go.
It is also essential to obtain a landlord license (if you haven’t already done so) from your local council before you can Let your property as this is required by law to ensure that landlords maintain rental properties to a high standard.
Finding a tenant
The next step after ensuring that your property is ready to be Let out is, of course, to find a tenant. This can often be the hardest part for new landlords and can be especially difficult if you are a part-time landlord, as finding a suitable tenant can be a long and time consuming process.
If you are struggling to find a tenant yourself there are a number of letting companies that can help you, by providing different levels of management services. Letting agents often offer these services for a fixed fee or percentage of the rental income but on the plus-side they will take care of finding a tenant for you and, in some cases, managing the tenancy agreement.
If you decide to use a lettings management service ensure that you remain aware of what is happening and get regular updates from your letting agent regarding the tenants found as it is essential that you are comfortable with the person moving in.
Managing the property and the tenant
After successfully finding a tenant, many landlords can become complacent in regards to property and tenant management. It is essential that you understand your rights as a landlord as well as the tenants’ rights and ensure that you are upholding the tenancy agreement in place.
Conducting relevant research into your responsibilities as a landlord, such as maintaining the property, landlord insurance and health and safety processes, is essential to ensure that the letting of your property goes off without an issue.
Ultimately, you are guaranteed to make mistakes as a new landlord but it is essential that you learn from those mistakes when you begin to grow your portfolio to ensure that you don’t continue to encounter the same problems.
Simon Hardingham is the sales manager of Manchester estate agents Indlu who offer a no sale, no fee estate agency service in the North West as well as a free online property valuation to find out how much your house is worth.