Have you recently bought a property with a view to letting it out? Have you moved and you’re eager to rent out your second home? If so, there are several things you may wish to think about before you take the plunge and become a landlord. Here is a guide to help you navigate the waters, and ensure your voyage into the rental market is plain sailing.
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Prepare your property
There is certain legislation in place for landlords. It’s essential to make sure your property complies with current guidelines. Once you’ve done this, you can think about making any cosmetic changes to make your home more appealing to potential tenants. Think about your target market and tailor your alterations to suit. If you’re trying to attract young professionals, entertaining space could be a major draw. If your home is located in an area popular with families, consider turning a study into another bedroom.
You can often make changes without breaking the bank, and they could potentially add significant value to your home. It’s always worth investing money in dated kitchens and bathrooms. You don’t have to go crazy with your spending, but aim for sleek, modern designs. If you have a mortgage on your property and you plan to let it out, you may need to change your existing agreement. Contact your mortgage provider for more details.
Consider your options
If you have a busy work schedule, and you don’t have time to be at the beck and call of tenants, it’s a good idea to let an agent manage your property. Your agent can take care of deposits and references and provide repair services. Guaranteed rent schemes have become popular in the last few years. They give you peace of mind and enable you to get on with day to day life without any worries about your rental property.
Contact a few agents and see what kinds of services they offer. Compare prices and packages. Once you’ve got an agency involved, they can take care of viewings and taking payments. You may wish to meet tenants before any agreements are signed. If this is the case, contact a member of staff at the lettings agency. The referencing process should ensure that any prospective tenants are capable of paying the rental fee. If you are letting to students, for example, you may wish to ask for a guarantor.
Once you have a tenant, make sure you are aware of the lease terms and your responsibilities. Your contract should stipulate who is liable for repairs and maintenance. Every tenant should be provided with an inventory at the beginning of the tenancy. If you are happy for the agency to take over all aspects of maintenance, an agent should carry out regular inspections. These visits are used to monitor the condition of the property. At the end of the agreement, the inventory should be checked.
Renting out your home is an excellent way of protecting investments and boosting your income. If you’re a first-time landlord, it is worth doing some research and drawing up a checklist. You may wish to be involved in the upkeep of the house to save money on agency fees. Alternatively, you may prefer to leave an agency in charge, so that you can focus on other commitments.