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Top Tips for Buy-To-Let Landlords
The role of a landlord can be a full time job, with 81% of British landlords juggling a second job to make ends meet.
Many property owners do not realise the amount of money, time and care required to be a landlord and consequently they feel constantly under pressure.
For those who are looking for a more hands-off approach, it may be prudent to investigate the benefits of using a letting agent to manage the property. They will then become the day to day point of contact for your tenants, and in turn alleviate some of that stress and responsibility that may be burdening you.
Here we want to share five top tips for buy-to-let property and tenancy management:
1. Check the law
There is a myriad of potential pitfalls that you can fall into when renting a property. As a bare minimum you need to have a valid gas safety certificate in place, smoke alarms on every level and a carbon monoxide alarm by the boiler and kitchen (if you have gas appliances). It is also advisable that you check the legislation surrounding letting as there may be additional requirements depending on the type of property you have.
2. Use correct contracts
When letting a property you not only have to use a robust agreement but also follow the rules and regulations associated with them. For example, with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement you need to always register the deposit within 30 days, and you need to give tenants prescribed information regarding their deposit. You also need to give certain notices when terminating an agreement. If you are unsure what the process is, it may be prudent to speak to a professional (solicitor or letting agent) about exactly what is needed.
3. Vet your tenants properly
Evicting a non-rent paying tenant can cost you thousands of pounds and a lot of stress. Regardless of the checks you undertake, you can never be certain that you have chosen the right tenant but you should at least check them as best you can in order to minimise your risk. Again, it may be a good idea to either use the services of a letting agent or an independent company to carry out a reference check for you because you can then obtain rental guarantee insurance against the tenant.
4. Have a contingency plan
Failing to leave yourself with sufficient emergency funds to cover vacant periods is a huge mistake but one that unfortunately a lot of landlords make. You should always have money aside to cover the mortgage in case finding tenants becomes difficult or refurbishment is required.
5. Fix things properly the first time
It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you skimp on certain things you will save money however, this can come back to bite you. Rather than trying to deal with an issue on the cheap (which can then mean you have to do it more than once) it is always better to pay slightly more to ensure that the issue is sorted properly the first time. Always use licensed, reputable contractors so that you can have confidence in their work and have recourse if things go wrong.
Post courtesy of Property Reporter.