A Guide to Renting for First Time Landlords

by Susan Paige
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As the housing market slows, more people are being forced to rent/lease property. Many people often become first-time landlords because they can’t sell their property and instead switch to renting. Demand for rental property has rarely been as high as today and as a landlord, it’s a great time to generate extra profits.

But what are your landlord responsibilities, and how do you get ready for the tenants? Here are our top tips on what to think about when leasing out a property and what to do to secure your property and increase your income.

1. Preparation 

Ensure that it is clean and that you have finished any DIY before potential tenants view the house. Will you be letting out the property as furnished or unfurnished? Notice that you need a broader insurance cover if you’re providing ‘contents’, such as furniture and cooking utensils. 

2. Health and safety 

It is important that you comply with the regulations on fire, gas, electric and furniture. Regular safety checks are required, and records are to be kept, protect your tenants. Safety inspections also help ensure the insurance is accurate.

3. Use agents

Letting agents are helpful if you don’t have time to handle your property, but they take 8-15 per cent of the profit from the income. While helping you find tenants, you do need to get involved with the tenant interviews because it is crucial that you are comfortable with the person moving in. Always make sure your agent gives you the most favourable price.

4. Know landlord and tenant rights 

It’s important that you know your responsibilities as a landlord when leasing out a house. For example, if you want to access the tenant’s house, then you must give at least 24 hours ‘notice to the tenant. 

5. Make a leasing contract 

A tenancy agreement is a great way to secure your rights and your property. A tenancy agreement specifies how long the lease will last, and the notice period required to evict the occupant.

6 Create an inventory of the property 

Making a detailed and reliable inventory of the property is crucial if you wish to protect your leasing property, particularly if it is furnished. A property inventory shows how the property looked and what was provided the day the tenant moved in and is proof should there be a dispute over the property’s deposit or any damages.

7. Get insurance 

Since most regular house insurance plans don’t offer the degree of security landlords need, it is vital that you get landlord insurance cover. Rent loss, unoccupied times, alternate accommodation, accidental damage, legal expenses, and liabilities plus rent security can all be covered.

8. Eviction 

Most leasing agreements end without any issues at the end of the lease contract period. You can quickly send a notice for a tenant to leave at the end of the specified period. However, if the tenants are a nuisance and you need them to leave before the end of the tenancy period, then you need evidence that the tenants broke their tenancy agreement terms. If the tenants are more than eight weeks in lease arrears, you can initiate eviction proceedings.

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