Investing in property can be extremely rewarding however, it comes with its own unique set of challenges and issues. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that you understand your legal obligations and do not risk falling foul of the ever-changing legislation.
At McPartland and Sons, we understand how overwhelming it can be when you become a first-time landlord and so, we want to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. Here are our top 5 tips for first-time landlords:
1. Prepare Your Property
Before you put your property on the market, you should ensure you are fully prepared, and the property is ready for tenants to live in. You should take a walk around the house and consider if any areas need updated. For instance, does the kitchen or bathroom need updated, do the blinds need replacing or does the overall décor need a touch up? The changes you make don’t need to be expensive however, it will make the property more attractive to potential tenants.
2. Check Your Mortgage
If your property is mortgaged, it is essential that you get your mortgage lender’s permission before you can let the property. If you choose to let the property without permission, your tenants will have very little rights if the property is repossessed due to mortgage arrears. Usually, if a property is repossessed, the lender will be required to honour any tenancy agreements at the time of the repossession. However, if you did not seek permission then the lender has no duty to fulfil the agreement. Read more about what you should consider before renting a property.
3. Don’t Forget the Safety Checks
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure the property is safe for your tenants. If there are gas appliances in the property, you must ensure they are checked by a registered engineer annually. You must also provide tenants with a gas safety certificate within 28 days of the annual checks taking place. Additionally, there should be working smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where solid fuel is used. Both of these must be tested on the first day of the tenancy. Read more about landlord responsibilities.
4. Be Flexible When Choosing a Tenant
When renting a property, it is important that you are prepared to take a wider view on things such as pets and length of let. If you apply more restrictions, you will have less choice in terms of tenants who will apply to live in your property. Why not consider both short and long lets and offering it as either furnished or unfurnished? Let your agent contact you with offers and then consider each one individually.
5. Be Responsive to Any Issues
One of the most important ways to make a landlord-tenant relationship work is by ensuring you are responsive to any issues. The goal is to achieve a balance between communicating with your tenants and giving them privacy. It can be easy to cross the line between being a professional landlord and being overfriendly, so ensure you keep the relationship strictly professional, allowing them to communicate any issues they may have. This will allow you to resolve any problems quickly and effectively, keeping the tenants as happy as possible.
While there is a lot more to be considered when you become a first-time landlord, these tips will help you begin your journey in the best possible way. At H McPartland and Sons, our experienced solicitors have many years’ experience dealing with a wide range of landlord and tenant issues. Our team can help to make the process of becoming a first-time landlord as simple and stress free as possible. Contact us today and talk to a member of the team to find out how we can help you.