Over the last 27 years, we have let thousands of properties and our clients have included landlords with 1 property to the United Kingdom’s biggest Landlord Grainger PLC, not to mention our relocations throughout the world and therefore we think we are well placed to offer our experience and top tips for first time landlords.
Guide for First Time Landlords
Are you ready?
It is important as a first time landlord that you are sure about your decision to let your property as most tenancies are a minimum of 6 months or one year. Letting your property is a big decision, both for you and the tenants that will be living there and it is very important you understand and appreciate what this business relationship entails.
Some Councils have introduced Landlord licensing, Croydon is one of them and at Streets Ahead, we are happy to talk you through this. It is important to know that it is a legal requirement that if you live within the borough that requires them, you must have a license prior to a tenancy.
Preparing your property.
Prior to prospected tenants coming to see your property, make sure it is clean, tidy and you have completed any modernisation or DIY projects. Remember a good property attracts a good tenant. Two heads are better than one and we will be happy to visit your property to offer our opinion if your property is ready for marketing and viewing.
Furnished or unfurnished?
Will you let your property out as unfurnished or furnished? For furnished properties there are safety standard regulations you must adhere to and you must have in mind that you may have to replace any item like for like during a tenancy, should it not become suitable for use. It is also important to know that if you are offering furnished then you will need additional insurance to cover the contents.
It is vital and law that you comply with fire, gas, electric and furniture regulations and accordingly provide any prospective tenants with certificates prior to them taking occupation. It is yours or your agent’s responsibility to take regular safety checks and keep records in this respect. Has your property got sufficient smoke alarms and do they work?
Finding a tenant.
At Streets Ahead, we believe that getting the best tenant at outset is paramount to a successful tenancy, which is why our referencing is rigorous to make sure we get the very best tenant for you at the beginning.
Meet your tenant.
At Streets Ahead we encourage you to meet your tenant, whilst we appreciate this is not practical for some of our Landlords with hundreds of properties, as a first time landlord this will give you piece of mind that we have chosen the best tenant for you.
Rules and regulations.
Not all first time landlords are fully aware of all the rules and regulations that they must comply with to be a landlord and please contact any of our staff who will be able to advise you in this respect. We will help you with your legal responsibilities and make sure you don’t fall fowl of one of the 145 laws you need to comply with.
Have you considered the tax implications with regards to being a landlord? This can be complex and we would recommend you employ services of an expert in this respect.
At Streets Ahead we will provide you with a detailed inventory to give you peace of mind that your property will be in the same condition it was on the day the tenants moved in to the day the tenants move out.
It is also vital that you get landlords insurance cover as most standard house hold insurances will not provide protection that you as a landlord will require. A good insurance policy should cover loss of rent, damage and legal expense and liabilities.
Keep talking to us.
We appreciate that there will be many questions as a first time landlord and we encourage you to communicate with us all the time. We want to help and give you peace of mind with one of your biggest investments.