10 tips for landlords
Here’s something interesting we came across this week. Bankers Arbuthnot Latham have shared their top tips for letting property. They are worth reading.
Don’t skimp on record-keeping – keeping track of income and outgoings is key and up-to-date records help you stay on top of admin and compliance, as well as providing evidence you may need in case of a dispute with a tenant.
Plan ahead – on average, rental homes are vacant for around a month a year. So make sure you allow for this. The bank recommends holding at least three month’s rent in your account to make sure you’re covered.
Allow for unexpected expenditure - the costs associated with a rental property are more than just the mortgage. You also need to take into account the cost of insurance, maintenance and compliance with current legislation.
Deal efficiently (and legally) with deposits – if you don’t follow the rules on tenant deposits you could face a big fine. So familiarise yourself with the legislation, which you can find on the Government website at GOV.UK. You should check the property before handover, draw up a detailed inventory with photographs and make sure you give your tenant a copy before they move in.
Carry out regular inspections – this way you can check your property is being looked after and helps you get to know your tenant. This will give you an insight into any problems being faced by your tenants and their plans for the future – which is also useful for planning ahead and identifying unexpected expenditure!
Allow for tax changes – Before you take the plunge and start letting a property you should take professional advice to help you understand your tax allowances and liabilities – and any likely changes that could impact your decision to become a landlord.
Calculating rental yields – Always do your homework to get an idea of the yield you can expect from the property and the area you are investing in. Different property types and locations differ widely so take the time to do some research.
Location, location, location – it may be a cliché but getting this right is vital to a profitable investment. Again, do your homework and take advice from local agents if you need it.
Vet your agent/tenants – Check out the agent you are using – do they come highly recommended? Ask around and look at their digital profile. If you are going it alone, try and meet your potential tenants before they sign the rental agreement. A Zoom call is the next best thing during the Covid outbreak. Building a relationship with them could pay dividends in future.
Choose the right insurance cover - you will need specialist landlord cover to insure the building (and contents if you are letting a furnished property) plus other risks such as void periods and any damage that may be caused by your tenant. Don’t skimp on insurance as it could save you a lot of money further down the line.
We think this is all really helpful advice – some of it is common sense of course, but for anyone who is thinking of investing in property, these are all important points. We can’t help landlords make buying decisions, but we can make your rental journey a whole lot easier.
Our automated lettings platform PlanetRent is designed to take as much of the hassle out of being a landlord as possible. We’ve got all the complex areas such as compliance covered and PlanetRent is really easy to use, automatically generating all the key documents and making deposits, inventories and record-keeping simple and easy to understand. We’ve also partnered with Zoopla and Rightmove so we even take the pain out of marketing your home.
Why not try PlanetRent today – there’s no subscription, so what have you got to lose?
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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