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Being a landlord is rewarding for many throughout the year, yet those who want to join this field for the first time should learn what will be in store first before committing to the sector.
When approached properly, letting homes can be a profitable investment that brings in regular income from tenants.
By having a strong understanding of the market before entering it, potential landlords can put their best foot forward.
Despite the regulatory changes, Brexit, the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, the sector has remained in demand and is predicted by many to continue to flourish. Here, we reveal the tips for landlords letting for the first time to make sure the process starts smoothly.
Keep a record of the essential documents
When it comes to letting a home, various pieces of documents and licenses are required before getting started.
To begin, landlords are advised to check if a license from the local council is needed before letting the home. Such licenses have been put in place to make sure that rental properties are maintained to a good standard.
All rental properties must have a valid and up-to-date energy performance certificate (EPC). If this is not provided, landlords could be faced with a hefty fine.
With tenants prioritising energy efficiency to maintain low energy costs, this document will be relied on heavily. The minimum energy efficiency rating is an ‘E’ at present, but this is rumoured to increase to a ‘C’ grade by the end of the decade.
Up-to-date gas safety and electrical certificates must also be on file. These documents prove whether the home is safe for tenant habitation, meaning they help to protect all parties and flag any issues if they are present.
All electrical installations must be inspected at least every five years by a professional and copies of these must be provided to tenants in addition to a copy of the EPC.
Property protection is vital
Protecting tenants and the property is essential for a successful let. By protecting the renter’s deposit within 30 days of receiving it, landlords can avoid facing fines or more serious repercussions.
Guidelines about tenant deposits state that this must be protected within 30 days of receiving it and landlords must also provide the tenant with the deposit protection certificate and ‘Prescribed Information’.
The property can be protected throughout the tenancy through regular inspection checks. This process can be done by the landlord or by a professional inventory clerk at the start, middle, and end of the tenancy.
By committing to regular inspection checks, landlords can prevent issues from emerging and rest assured that the home is being taken care of.
Insurance policies that cover loss of rent, legal expenses, damage, and liabilities can be taken out to keep the property protected throughout the tenancy.
Target the tenants you want
Depending on the location of the property, certain tenants may be more likely than others to suit the target demographic. For example, a home near a university is likely to suit the needs of a university student.
A local letting agent will be able to offer useful advice that can help a new landlord decide who and how to target.
Once this has been decided, attention can be diverted to making the home look up to scratch to suit the tenant’s needs. The home could be let furnished, part-furnished, or with no furnishings at all. Landlords should narrow down their budget and target market before deciding.
A reputable local letting agent will be able to use their expertise to make sure that the home has the best chance of getting let through a good marketing plan.
Here at Farrell Heyworth, we operate in the busy North West towns and villages of Southport, Lancaster, Morecambe, Preston, Bolton, Ormskirk and Chorley. To find out how we can assist you on your letting journey, please get in touch with us today.
We encourage all our customers to register with our My FH portal, which will give you access to the most up-to-date information; remotely and at your convenience.
You can also find out how much you could be charging in rent by requesting a free and instant online valuation today.
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