A starter guide to becoming a landlord
If you are thinking of renting out your property or have invested in a buy-to-let property, it is always about finding the perfect tenant(s) who will take care of your property just as well as you would. But before you start tenant hunting, here’s a checklist of what you need to do to fulfil all the legal requirements and make your property desirable.
Listing your property
Check if you are legally allowed to rent out your property and your mortgage is compatible with renting. Depending on the area the property is in, see if your council requires you to have a landlord’s license, even if your property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Pick a letting agency to manage and market your property. You can also have the agency only market your property instead, giving you the choice to manage it yourself, or vice versa.
Give your property the necessary exposure needed to be on a prospective tenant’s radar. When advertising on sites like Rightmove and Zoopla, aim to be on the top of the search through featured listing.
Make sure the advertisement is eye-catching with good photos and correct information with the property shown in an excellent condition.
Set the rent depending on the location of the property, unique features it can provide to the tenant, the type of tenant(s) you are looking for, and the condition of the property.
Finding a tenant
Carry out the Right to Rent check and the immigration status of the tenant(s). This can be done by checking their identity documents and specific immigration documents if necessary.
If a letting agency is managing your property, ask them to keep proof of these documents.
Arrange a written tenancy agreement. Do include photos when carrying out an inventory.
Protect their deposit under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme or Deposit Protection Service of MyDeposits, all approved by the Government.
Inform the tenant about any inspections or repairs being carried out 24 hours prior to entering the property.
Managing your property
Get a landlord’s insurance in case any damages are made to your property. It also covers emergency assistance and legal expenses protection.
Consider getting a rent guarantee insurance if rent is not received regularly or is missed or delayed by the tenant.
Have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a rating of an E or above. This should be given to the tenant on the day they move in.
Also provide the tenant with a Gas Safety Certificate. Arrange to have all gas equipment checked by a registered Gas Safety engineer.
Install smoke alarms on each floor. Carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted in rooms that have a fireplace.
The house should also have fire alarms and extinguishers at a convenient location.