Becoming a landlord isn’t quite as simple as buying a property, finding a tenant and watching the rent pour into your bank account. Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Here’s some professional advice from the online letting agents here at LetBritain to help you get to grips with those things you need to know before becoming a landlord.
Once upon a time, you didn’t need anything to become a landlord other than a property, a tenant, and a little bit of extra time to manage everything. Nowadays, unfortunately, potential landlords in most local authority areas will find they have to get a reference before being legally allowed to embark on a tenancy.
While this isn’t a nationwide requirement, it’s dealt with on a council-by-council basis. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the local authority areas that don’t require this, then you can happily skip this process. Everyone however, should take the time to check what the individual requirements of their area are. Much of the time, you’ll have to pay a fee to the local council in order to secure your license. You may also require permission from the housing association or mortgage provider you used to buy the house in the first place.
Ah regulation, the scourge of landlords everywhere. Love it or hate it, government and council regulation is designed to keep rogue landlords in check by enfranchising your responsibilities in law. Even those landlords who fully plan on providing a well-maintained property and a decent place to live must pay close attention to these rules.Some of the most important regulations that landlords should adhere to include the need to check potential tenants’ immigration status, ensuring a valid energy performance certificate, securing any deposits in a DPS scheme and maintaining the safety of gas and electricity appliances.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for landlords these days to make sufficient profits to justify their investment – particularly if they live in London. As well as house prices rising slower than ever, the government is also gradually reducing the amount of mortgage tax relief that landlords can secure. For that reason, it’s important for landlords looking to maximise profits to make the most of those tax exemptions they can secure. Hiring a good accountant can certainly help with this, as well as taking care to ensure expenses are properly documented and claimed.
Those landlords that are anxious to get tenants in the order and rent in their accounts may be anxious to choose somebody as quickly as possible. Of course, this isn’t always the smartest option – and tenants don’t always prove to be the reasonable rent-paying, property-respecting individuals they first appear. For that reason, you should always make sure you undertake proper tenant reference checks and include a credit score. Though this is never a hard-and-fast solution, it lets you know whether the potential tenant has a history of damaging landlords’ property or not paying their rent on time.
Finding good tenants is never easy, and many high street letting agents charge extortionate sums for the privilege of doing it for you, often including services that you never asked for or needed. It’s often better to take control yourself and avoid the hefty and unnecessary fees. With online letting agents like LetBritian, you can do just that.