Top 10 tips for landlords
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Top 10 tips
Always remember that property rental is a business – and like any business it’s crucial to do your research beforehand: identify your target market and match that to the property you buy; make sure it has the right features and is located in the right area to attract this market.
Present your property well – decorate and furnish your property in a style that will appeal to your target market and not your personal taste: clean, neutral colours work best. Ensure bathrooms and kitchens are modern and in good condition. If the property has a garden, make sure that it is tidy and well tended. It’s also advisable to refresh properties between lettings, including carpet cleaning and touching up paintwork.
Employ an expert you can count on: only use an ARLA registered agent who will ensure that all the correct documents are issued, including a good tenancy agreement which combines your rights as a landlord and the fair expectations of your tenant’s. The agent will also obtain credit checks, references and ensure all client money is protected.
Ensure you are able to let your property: you will need to secure consent from your mortgage provider; and if you’re a leaseholder, seek permission from the freeholder/management company.
Secure a deposit – and this should be is slightly more than one month’s rental. This will give you greater protection and compensation against damages and also encourage tenants to pay their final month’s rent. Please note that deposits must be protected by one of the Government-approved Deposit Protection Schemes.
Have a thorough inventory and schedule of condition from the outset – enabling you and the tenant to agree upon the condition of the property, so minimising later disputes.
Make sure your property is safe to let – which means checking that all your appliances meet fire and safety regulations.
A boiler maintenance contract is a good idea, and many white goods have extended warranties, all of which can prove cheaper than emergency call out charges.
Be prepared for void periods – set aside funds to cover you if things go wrong or the tenant leaves.
In the case of problem tenants, take prompt action – if your tenant is not looking after your property or is behind with rent, consult a solicitor, investigate your options and take steps immediately.
Book a valuation
While Red Key does not offer or arrange Landlord insurance, preferring to be totally independent in the service we provide, we can point you in the direction of a range of products that we believe offer good value for money and, critically, provide the level of cover you really need.