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What You Should Know Before Becoming a Landlord

20th Jun 2019

Category: Property advice

Thinking of becoming a landlord? It can be an exciting and rewarding process but is also full of challenges. Make sure you know what you're getting yourself in for before you start!

1) There’s a lot of law to navigate

As a landlord in the UK you will need to be familiar with both national and local legislation. It’s important that you know your rights and responsibilities before your start out as there are laws pertaining to every aspect of the lettings process, from buying your property to managing it. You also need to know who you can turn to for help and legal advice.

2) Your job description is vast

As a landlord you will need to be a jack of all trades. You will need a varied skill set including accounting, legal, practical maintenance skills, marketing and sales. You’ll wear many hats as a landlord so it’s important that you feel comfortable with being adaptable and flexible.

3) Set goals and work out your strategy based on them

How much money do you need to make for your investment goals? It’s important to note that not all landlords’ goals are the same. Set out both your short and long term goals so you can be clear on the rental amount you need to achieve. You should also consider all the costs involved which could include mortgage payments, taxes, solicitors fees, agency fees, compliance certificates and licences, insurance and maintenance and repairs.

4) Know the local market inside out

Whether you are yet to buy a property or have one ready to let, it is vital that you know your local market. What is the rental demand in your area? We recommend checking websites such as rightmove and onthemarket to see how quickly properties are being let and at what price. While you can get a letting agent to value your property, it’s important that you also do your own research to know how realistic their valuations are. And remember, the highest valuation is not always the best one if it means more time on the market.

5) Have a plan for after the property is let

It’s easy for landlord to focus on getting their property let and forget that once this happens the hard work is far from over. You’ll need to keep on top of a range of jobs including ensuring the property maintains compliance, tenant problems, maintenance, collecting rent and making sure it gets paid on time. This starts from the minute your tenants move in so don’t be complacent – have a plan in place to give you a flying start.

6) Understand the time commitment

Depending on how much day to day involvement you plan to have, being a landlord can go well beyond a normal 9-5 job. From late nights completing paperwork, to getting the property cleaned and prepared for move ins and emergency maintenance, landlords could be called on at any time night and day. If you decide to manage the property yourself, you should not underestimate the huge time commitment this will be.

7) Use your letting agent as a tool for all the above.

Every letting agent should be able to provide plenty of advice on all of the above, so make sure you use them – they are there to help you!

Hannah Walkden

Marketing Assistant

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