There will always be people looking for a home to rent, whether that is because they cannot afford to purchase a home or they just enjoy the flexibility that comes with renting a home differs from person to person.
According to the ONS, since the 90’s the private rental sector has been on the increase year on year. This is due to a number of reasons one of which includes the demand for homes has increased but fewer homes are being built so people have to turn to renting. The graph below shows the steady increase in privately rented homes over the last few decades.
This is why it is imperative as a landlord you have everything in order so you can make your job less stressfull and hassle free.
Renting out a home is not as simple as making an extra set of keys to pass on to your tenants. Our team has put together a list of 8 tips that will help you become a better landlord.
1) Let your mortgage provider know
There are thousands of landlords already renting out their homes without letting their mortgage provider know and many probably don’t think they are doing anything wrong but they are.
The fine print on your mortgage agreement will show you that you are in fact legally obliged to tell your provider that you are renting your property out.
There once was a time where lenders were more than happy to let landlords rent their homes on their residential deal mortgages but this is not the case any more. Your lender will more than likely charge you for something called consent-to-let or even add a premium to your mortgage rate.
As stated earlier, many people are already doing this and most will probably never get caught, however, if you want to stay 100% safe, you must let your lender know.
2) Get insurance
Make sure you take out the appropriate insurance before you begin renting out your home. Buildings insurance go’s without saying as it will more than likely be required as part as your mortgage agreement but it is recommended to take out contents cover as well.
It is safer to take out contents insurance as a landlord even if your tenants have it already.
Whether you rent out your property furnished or unfurnished you will still need to be covered for items such as carpets, curtains and even kitchen and bathroom units in case of a fire or accidental damage.
3) Agent or no agent?
This really comes down to the landlord. There are both advantages and disadvantages to hiring an estate agent who will help you find a suitable tenant for your home.
If you’re always busy with work and feel that you do not have the time to do all that is required to rent out your property, it may be better for you to hire an estate agent who will take care of it all for you.
The main disadvantage is of course having to pay estate agent fee’s. If you have the time and feel you can deal with the added stress, do it and you will save a fair amount of cash.
4) Pick the right tenant
Every landlord dreams of the perfect tenant. Someone who is likable and easy to get on with, someone who complains very little and someone who always pays on time! Unfortunately very few of us are blessed with this kind of tenant but don’t fret, you can get pretty close to the perfect tenant if you screen them properly before agreeing to rent your home to them.
The main things you want to check when screening a potential tenant include:
- Checking their credit history.
- Getting references from multiple people.
- Background information such as employment and income.
- Past evictions or bankruptcies if any.
If you’re renting out the property yourself you can obtain all this information by putting together a simple written rental application form so you can properly screen your tenants.
5) Get an EPC done
As of October 2008 landlords are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate for their property.
An EPC is a document which provides information about your property which gives a picture of it’s energy efficiency. The EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
6) Make your property better than the market standard
This will differ depending on the market conditions and the budget of each landlord but in general if you’re property looks and feels better than your competition, you are more likely to find a potential tenant.
Also having a property that looks aesthetically appealing will bring in the right crowd and may even give you the opportunity to negotiate on rent in your favor.
7) Tenancy agreement
Most mortgage lenders want you to have an assured tenancy agreement in place if you rent a property out. The agreements generally last about 12 months but can be longer. They also include break clauses for both parties after 6 months.
It’s very important to get an agreement signed as verbal agreements are not enough and tenants can change instantly as soon as they move in.
8) Make repairs when they are due
If you cannot do the repairs yourself, get a hold a good reliable handyman who can carry out the repairs for you.
Communication is key here. If your tenant contacts you regarding a problem answer them in good time so they feel they are being looked after.
And that does it! We hope our list of tips will help you become a more successful landlord.
If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to give us any feedback on our articles feel free to contact us at anytime!