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Top Ten Tips for Landlords

TOP TEN TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

1. Choose your tenants wisely as once theyíve moved into your property, itís very difficult to get them out again should you encounter any problems. It could involve timely and costly court action. Working with a letting agent puts you at an advantage as they will be able to vet and find suitable tenants.

2. Know the law, even if itís just a basic understanding. Residential landlords have many legal requirements to adhere to and are ultimately responsible for the safety of tenants who occupy your property. So make sure you are up to date before letting your property.

3. Is your property fit for rental? Make sure that the property is in good repair and that the contents comply with various product safety legislation, such as furniture is deemed fire proof.

4. Ensure that gas appliances at the property are inspected annually by Gas Safe Registered engineer and that you give the necessary certificates to the tenants when they go into the property and annually thereafter to prove these checks have been done. Electricity checks should also be carried out every five years.

5. Is the rent achievable? Set your rent at the market level; your aim is to get the property rented as quickly as possible, so youíre not left to pay the monthly mortgage fees! Take advice from the agent to see what rent is achievable; they will be able to give you comparable rents of similar properties.

6. Make sure that you have a proper form of tenancy agreement, a letting agent will be able to help you pull this together, which will then need to be witnessed and signed by both the landlord and tenant. It will set out the obligations of the tenants and protects your position as landlord. A good letting agent will also ensure that the agreement complies with current legislation.

7. When taking a deposit this must be protected (for ASTs) under a government approved tenancy deposit scheme, or penalties will apply.

8. Set out an inventory, a lettings agent can appoint an inventory clerk to pull this together for you in a professional manor ensuring all relevant contents are listed with condition marked appropriately. This needs to be clearly highlighted to tenants when they enter and vacate the property otherwise the chances of reclaiming any deposit, should a dispute occur, are slim.

9. What to do if the tenants fall into rent arrears? Contact the tenant as quickly as possible to discuss the situation and how the tenant intends to make up the shortfall within a giving time, together with discussing the importance of keeping up with the payments before it gets to the point where we need to issue court proceedings.

10. Consider taking out a rent Guarantee insurance policy, even a well referenced and suitable tenant can fall on hard times or have a change of circumstances which could mean your rent may not be paid. A letting agent can often offer rent guarantee protection once tenants are referenced successfully to ensure your rent is paid and costs are covered to arrange eviction, if required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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