Letting your property or home as a first time landlord can be a daunting task and there are important considerations before putting it on the rental market.
Preparing your property
You should undertake any maintenance which needs to be done. Your property will be more attractive to prospective tenants if it has been freshly painted and all repairs are done. You should decide whether you want to let the property furnished or unfurnished. If possible consider both options so that you have a wider potential audience and can find the right tenant for you as a first time landlord.
Understand the market and your obligations as a first time landlord
Research similar properties in the local area and find out how much they are being let for per month. If your rent is set too high or too low, prospective tenants will potentially be put off viewing. Think about your target demographic and consider who would be interested in your property, such as young families, single professionals, etc..
Landlords need to comply with many legal requirements. At the start of the tenancy agreement, landlords must carry out right to rent checks in line with immigration laws, protect deposits and have all the essential paperwork in place.
For your protection and that of your tenants you should have a written tenancy agreement so that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities.
The safety of tenants is very important so you must undertake a Gas Safety check every year. It is also a good idea to make sure all electrical appliances and wiring are tested regularly too. Smoke alarms should be fitted to each floor and a carbon monoxide alarm if appropriate too.
By law an EPC (energy performance certificate) for your property is needed which lasts 10 years. If the EPC is particularly low ie) F or G remedial works will be required to make your property more efficient.
Your existing buildings and contents insurer must be made aware of your intention to let you property as it is likely that you policy will need to be amended. Landlord insurance is not a legal requirement but is advisable to protect your investment. You should also advise your mortgage company and in some cases obtain approval to let.
You may wish to meet your prospective tenants before agreeing to let them your property, or you may prefer to leave it to your letting agent. If you chose to use an agent they will perform reference and credit checks on potential tenants to ensure everything is acceptable with the prospective tenant.
Letting your home can be stressful as a first time landlord but it need not be. If Homelet can help with any aspect of letting your property from finding suitable tenants to ensuring your property complies with regulatory changes please call 01244 316338 or call in to see us at 18 Grosvenor Street, Chester. We would love to help.