If you have just opened an estate agency or have simply bought a new property to rent out, you need to make many considerations. You may think the whole process is simple, but that is not the case at all. Many legal requirements are needed to protect you and your tenants. Some of this legislation has been brought in due to the abundance of rogue landlords out there. However, just because there are many stipulations, it does not mean you can’t be successful. Far from it, in fact, the better you are, the more loyal and honourable your tenants will be, guaranteeing you that monthly payment. Here are a few things to consider:
Do you need a Licence?
In 2006 some new legislation was brought in by local councils due to the abundance of unlawful landlords in some areas. So it is in your best interests to get the legal side sorted out before you think about renting anything out. Call your local council and see if a landlord licence is needed in the area your rentals are in. That way, you have time to get that sorted before anyone moves in.
If you want to make your tenancy business a success, you need to treat it like any other business. You need a business plan and projections into the future. You need to include everything you can think of into the plan, all financial obligations, etc. By creating a fully rounded business plan, you will already have a better idea of how the business will work and what to expect. You may even have included a back up plan in case of those unforeseeable events.
Every good landlord does tenant checks to ensure they do not allow someone into one of their houses with a diabolical rental history and no references. Tenant checks are a surefire way to protect you and your business from nightmare tenants.
All landlords are expected to protect their tenant’s deposits in the deposit protection scheme. This protects your tenant in the event you go out of business. Once you have protected the deposit in the appropriate scheme, you have to provide them with a certificate.
Safety, Safety, Safety
Your houses better be completely safe otherwise, you could be in for a bit of a legal battle if things go wrong. You need Gas Safety Certificates and regular check-ups done by a gas safe engineer. You also need proper Electrical Installation Condition Reports completed by electricians and engineers to ensure that the house is up to standard. You need smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors in some cases. It would be best if you did your homework here to ensure everything is up to standard.
Yes, you need proper landlord insurance on all your properties. It is best if you get an insurance policy that covers you for a whole range of issues, including the loss of rent, and damage that may be caused. Also, you may need cover for legal expenses and other liabilities.