Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Tips for New Landlords – Part One

From Robert Ulph on July 16, 2021

Over the last two weeks I gave tips on what tenants need to be aware of when renting – especially for those new to the private sector or for those on the move after renting for a long time. This week and next I’m providing tips for landlords, especially against the backdrop of the measures brought in because of Covid-19, as well as the rising demand for rented accommodation. The sector is in need of new landlords, and I always look to make it as straightforward as possible for those looking to invest.

If you need advice on what and where to buy let me know, but for those who have a property here are some tips to keep you the right side of the legislation.

Do you need a licence? Depending on your property’s local authority, you may need to apply for a landlord licence before you can rent it out. This system is in place to ensure all properties are a certain standard, and although it was introduced in 2006, it hasn’t been adopted by all local authorities, so it’s worth checking if you need one.

Preparing your property: Get to know the area your property is in. For example, if you are near a university, furnishing the property would work better for renting out, whereas if you are more suited to have young professionals or a family, they may well furnish it themselves.

You should consider if the kitchen or bathroom need to be updated, whether the floor coverings or blinds or curtains need replacing, and if the overall decoration needs an overhaul. Some improvements don’t have to cost the earth but will make the property more attractive to prospective tenants.

Finding suitable tenants: As a landlord, you will need to reference new tenants to check they can meet rent payments and other requirements. A Propertymark protected agent will be able to help you with these checks, which include credit eligibility, affordability, employer checks and any references from previous landlords. You are also legally obliged to confirm prospective tenants have the right to lawfully live in the UK through Right to Rent checks.

Putting a contract in place: It isn’t a legal obligation to have a tenancy agreement, but it is strongly advised and best practice. A contract protects you, your property and your tenants from anything which you may disagree on such as rent payments, the deposit, length of tenancy, who lives there, whether your tenants are allowed to keep pets and how the property and anything inside it should be treated. Your agent will help you produce a legally binding contract that all parties should sign before the keys are handed over.

I hope these tips help and I’ll provide more next week, but if you would like any further information on this from our specialist team at Pennington – or anything else on the local rental market – I look forward to hearing from you.