Renting out property can bring great financial rewards when done right. The whole process can take a lot of time and money, so it’s wise to do some research before investing in properties and building a rental portfolio. Here are 4 top tips for new landlords.
Find the Right Property
Finding a suitable property is the first step to becoming a landlord. A new build or one under ten years old may be more cost-effective in the long term as it should have fewer maintenance issues than an older building.
Location is also an important factor. However, choosing a site will depend upon the type of tenant you wish to attract to the property. If you wanted to target the professionals, it would make sense to buy a property with all mod cons, close to the city, with useful links to busy business districts. Being close to parks, shops and schools may be more attractive to families.
Get Curb Appeal
Many rental properties are on the market, and the competition high. It is vital to make sure the property is presented to a high standard to entice tenants and set a high standard from the start. If given to them in tip-top condition, a tenant is more likely to maintain the property’s standard.
The thorough cleaning of the property is of utmost importance. Deep cleaning kitchen appliances, bathrooms, and flooring make the property fresh and gleaming and reduce long-term maintenance costs. Well looked after furnishings are less likely to deteriorate. Investing in quality cleaning products and equipment such as hoovers, steam cleaners, carpet cleaners is cost-effective in the long term.
More than any other feature, flooring is subjected to high wear and tear levels. Deep cleaning carpets before and after each tenancy helps remove any stains and lingering odours. As this needs done often, it makes sense to buy a carpet cleaner instead of hiring one. Owning a carpet cleaner not only cuts down on the expense of hiring but means that the equipment is available at short notice.
Adhere to Health and Safety Regulations
Once tenants are in the property, the Landlord is required to keep them safe and protected from any potential harm caused by living in the building.
The Landlord must ensure that the property has appropriate smoke alarms and CO2 detectors as instructed in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Regular checks should be made on these as well as on any electrical appliances in the building. Items such as cookers, refrigerators, washing machines should be safety checked every five years. A CORGI registered technician should inspect gas appliances such as boilers every year. It is useful to purchase a yearly maintenance contract for your boiler from your gas provider.
The local fire department can visit the property to make sure the property adheres to safety standards. Fire exits, sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, and extinguishers will be checked to ensure their compliance. If you are offering a furnished property, it is a requirement that furniture such as chairs and sofas are fire retardant.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)states that Landlords are required to protect their tenants from intruders. The insurance company should approve all window and door locks, and if a burglar alarm is installed, it is the Landlord’s duty to ensure it’s always in working order. Should these safety measures be neglected, and a robbery takes place, the Landlord may be liable for the tenant’s losses and as well as having to repair any damage to the property.
A rental property is an investment to provide a regular income and future security for the Landlord. Taking out an insurance policy on the building and contents is crucial. Landlords Insurance can be purchased to cover the cost of repairing damage to the building’s structure or the expense incurred if it had to be rebuilt after a fire or other serious disaster.
Landlord’s Insurance also covers the contents of the property. A claim can be made if any furniture or other items in the house are broken or stolen.
If a tenant does not pay their rent, Tenant Default Insurance may cover the financial loss. Any claim made against the Landlord about injury or damage related to the property may be covered with Property Owners Liability Insurance.
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