Tips and Hints That New Landlords Need to Know
If your plans for 2022 involve becoming a new landlord, there are a whole host of things that you need to know before you take the plunge. This article gathers together some of the most important pointers you should understand before you start renting out a property, so make sure you take note.
Whether you have to move away from your property and you don’t want to, or can’t, sell it, or you are looking to buy to let in 2022, this guide will make the process easier for you and prepare you for what to expect when you undertake what can be a very rewarding activity.
1) Check Whether You Need a Landlord Licence
Not all local councils require landlords to have a licence in order to rent out properties, but some do. In these cases, a lot of the time these licences are just for those who look to let homes in multiple occupation (HMO). However, there are licence requirements in certain areas that apply no matter what the status of the property.
Before you put your property onto the market, check with your local council to find out about this and any other legislation they have in place for new landlords. This way, you won’t face any unwanted fines on your buy to let in 2022.
2) Research Your Property For Suitability
Renting out a property is not just a case of sticking a basic advert up online and waiting for the prospective tenants to come rolling in. You need to research the type of property, the location and the available renters in order to target it appropriately.
For example, a property near a university might work better as an HMO for students, whereas a home in an upmarket area would need you to highlight features such as family rooms and off-road parking.
Your research will also help you establish a realistic rental price. Look at what others are asking for in the area. If you are pricing your property higher, you need to be able to justify why it is more expensive than the average for the location.
3) Understand the Legalities
As you would expect when it comes to something as important as providing a home for people, there are a great number of legalities that you need to adhere to. You should understand what you can and can’t charge tenants for in the onboarding process following the implementation of the Tenant Fees Act.
In addition, you must protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-backed scheme that protects it and helps landlords and tenants come to an agreement in the event of a dispute. Landlords must also provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and undertake regular checks on gas and electrics too.
4) Create a Tenancy Agreement
A tenancy agreement keeps both the landlord and tenant protected during the time the renter is in the property. It details the responsibilities that both parties must adhere to and dictates the length of the arrangement too.
By noting things like who should pay the council tax, which party maintains the garden and what is expected in terms of keeping the property in a tidy condition, it is possible to see who is or isn’t upholding their side of the bargain further down the line.
Make sure you include details about notice and break clauses, information on payments that need to be paid, how you will protect the deposit and any other rules relating to the property.
5) Make an Inventory On Moving In (With Photos)
Taking a detailed inventory is essential when tenants move in. It is a good idea to complete the inventory of everything in the property and its condition before they move in and then have them check it is correct and sign it to say so. Taking pictures of the state of sofas, walls, carpets and so on gives you a good frame of reference and comparison when they move out.
This is so that you know if anything has gone missing or been damaged during their tenancy. You have their signature as proof of its presence and condition, with photos to back it up if needed.
6) Outsource Property Management
Renting out a property is a big job and outsourcing your property management can take away a lot of the stress. If you also work full time, you don’t want to have to spend an hour getting someone round to sort a leaking pipe, but it is your responsibility as a landlord. With outsourced property management, we take care of it for you, allowing you to remain focused on your other tasks.
It is the perfect service for new landlords with other jobs, those who do not live locally and those who don’t want to be bothered in the middle of the night by their tenants. We also draw up tenancy agreements, source references and provide many other services as part of our two packages. Have a look at the dedicated page to find out more.