Renting out a property isn’t as easy as most people think. However, if the correct preparation is done, letting a property can bring you many financial and personal benefits. We’ve put together some simple tips to help you get prepared to let your property – you can thank us later!
Do the maths - Before you decide to rent out a property, you need to work out whether it is financially viable. Create a budget and consider the cost of renting (including any renovations that will need to be made to the property). You also need to ensure you have enough savings to cover any possible void periods, urgent repairs or unexpected costs that may arise during the tenancy. It's also a good idea to consider the tax implications - speak to an accountant about your short and long term investment goals and plans. This will ensure that you are in the best position to maximise the return on your investment.
Seek independent advice before you buy - It is a good idea to contact a trusted estate agent in order to obtain a realistic estimate of the rental income you could achieve. Don't just speak to the agent you buy the property from and make sure that any agent you do speak to, they are local, experienced and reputable.
Does the property suit your ideal tenant? - When searching for your investment property, think about who the property may appeal to... is this the kind of tenant you would like? For example, a one bedroom apartment close to a town centre would be great for a single person or couple but these tenants may be more likely to stay in the property for a shorter term. On the other hand, families are often longer-term tenants as they are traditionally more settled.
Neutralise, modernise and tidy up - No one wants to live in a tired, messy, dirty or old-fashioned home. It sounds simple, but the better your property looks, the higher the possible rent. Neutral walls are a great place to start as this will allow any potential tenants to visualise themselves living in the property, making it more appealing and desirable. Also, when people move into a clean and tidy home, they are far more likely to care about it as much as you do and will be more likely to return it in a better condition at the end of the tenancy.
Ensure your property complies with HHSRS - The housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. There are 29 hazards you must ensure you have checked your property against. Making your home safe is crucial and can save a lot of headaches down the line.
Read our compliance guide to make sure your certificates are up to date - As a Landlord, it is a legal requirement to have carried out the relevant safety checks and have the supporting certificates for these. You'll need a valid EICR, gas-safety certificate, legionnaires report, valid EPC and will have to take appropriate fire and carbon monoxide safety measures. This area of the lettings process is always changing, so make sure your certificates are kept up-to-date. We have a handy guide which explains these measures in more detail and it's a must read for any Landlord. You can read it here.
Make sure you triple check your new tenant/s - Getting the right person is absolutely key! Tenant referencing is a crucial step for all new tenancies to check that they are who they say they are. It’s an in-depth process of screening and background checks - from employment verification, to credit checks and references from previous landlords, good tenant referencing provides you essential information covering a range of areas. If you let your property through an agency, they will do this for you and will use their experience and expertise to ensure that any tenants are suitable for your property.
Are your move-in documents in order? - Did you know that there are 6+ compulsory documents you need to provide your tenants with to ensure you are compliant and protected at the start of a tenancy? Using a Propertymark approved agreement is best practice. Also, if there are any extra clauses you need in the agreement, you must do this at the start.
Deposits - There is a strict time limit for protecting the deposit. Not adhering to this may result in you having to pay the tenant 3x the total back - something you understandably wouldn't want to have to do! There are 3 main deposit options available - a reputable agent would be able to hold and log this on your behalf.
Be kind! - Landlord and tenant relationships can be tough but try and be considerate. In addition to this, you should reply to messages promptly and professionally and if any maintenance issues arise, make sure they are dealt with in a timely manner. However, we always find that having happier tenants results in more profitable, longer-term tenancies.
Instruct a proactive, reputable agent - Having your property managed is the simplest way to take the stress away from you, whilst also ensuring your compliance. All of the above points can be handled by an agent, resulting in a professional tenant-landlord relationship.
Don't forget, our team are always here to help and would be more than happy to offer free, no-obligation advice at whatever stage of the investment process you are at. Give us a call on 01803 214214.