Life as a landlord is lovely in theory. You just sit back, relax, and wait for the rent to come rolling in. However, it’s rarely this simple in practice. The landlord’s life can be rather ‘lively’ if you make the wrong moves.
The following tips will help you stay on top of the big decisions and make the most of your prized asset(s).
Make the right impression
First impressions count – both online and on the ground. So make sure your property is advertised attractively and presented pleasingly. Everything must be clean and uncluttered for viewings. It’s also worth decorating walls in bright neutral colours. You’ll also have your first big decision to make: furnished or unfurnished? We recommend the latter so you don’t waste money on items tenants might not need.
Being a landlord comes with certain responsibilities. You must provide a safe environment: the heating must work, the plumbing must be watertight, and smoke alarms must be tried and trusted. You also need a carbon monoxide detector in rooms with a boiler.
Health and safety is an on-going responsibility so there’s no shirking. You must test your electrics and electrical appliances, check for legionnaires, and update your gas safety record every single year. Luckily we can arrange this for you.
Do a professional inventory before tenancies begin
Cut corners at the start and you could pay for it later. A professional inventory by an independent third party can help enormously when a tenancy ends. It will help you retain some (or all) of your tenants deposit if they’ve damaged the property or broken certain items. Again we can arrange this inventory for you.
Be realistic about tenants
Perfect tenants are like gold dust but reliable tenants will usually do. As long as they pay their rent, and don’t damage your property, you shouldn’t have too many sleepless nights.
When it comes to negotiations try to see things from their perspective too. They’ll want the lowest rent just like you want the highest. Some give and take is usually required.
Don’t forget your EPC
You can’t rent out your property until it has an up-to-date EPC (energy performance certificate). It’s the law so don’t fall foul of perceived formalities. If your property is rated below ‘E’ then you’ll need to spend money on improvements before anyone can move in.
Decide how much help you need
Experienced landlords, especially professional ones, can manage properties on their own. But it’s not so simple for newbies or those holding down full time jobs. Most estate agents help by offering different levels of service. For example, we offer a ‘let only’ service, a ‘part managed’ one, plus a ‘fully managed’ option.
‘Let only’ finds you a tenant, arranges the gas / electrical checks, but the rest is up to you. ‘Part managed’ collects the rent and deals with renewals on top. Meanwhile, ‘fully managed’ offers the full shebang: liaising with tenants, property visits, plus arranging maintenance and repairs.
Although it’s tempting to save money by being a ‘hands on’ landlord, you’ll reduce stress by leaving your property management to an expert – as long as the price is right. Fortunately, our fully managed service fee is just 8%.
Don’t get too attached!
A man’s house is his castle. But a rental property is just an investment. It’s business. So don’t get too emotional or attached.
When negotiating rents, extending tenancies, or deciding whether to sell up, it’s important to keep things in perspective. All properties must pay their way and produce the yield landlords expect.