Avoid the pitfalls with five top tips for first-time landlords
A new guide from email4property offers new landlords some sound advice on the decisions they need to get right: 1. Choosing a letting agent – ensure your lettings agent is a member of one of the professional associations. A good lettings agent can not only help you in finding your tenant but they can take over responsibility of collecting rents and organising repairs 2. Deciding what rent to charge – be realistic. Take the agent’s advice on what is an achievable rent and look at local newspapers and property websites to see what else is available and at what price. The current oversupply of rental property may mean accepting a reduced rent but a competitive price will reduce the voids. 3. Get your EPC – an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be available to all new tenants, outlining the energy efficiency rating and the environmental impact of your property.
Your lettings agent will be able to arrange this for you, or you can opt to commission this yourself. If you decide to go it alone, make sure you use an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) – details can be found at www.epcregister.com. Once completed, the EPC will have a shelf life of 10 years.
4. Get the Tenancy Agreement in place – before finding your tenant you need to think about any restrictions you wish to put in place.
However, try not to be too tough – if you exclude smokers, pets, students, small children and short-term lets, you will narrow the market for your property considerably. 5. Ongoing responsibilities – once you have a tenant in place, as a landlord you have a number of ongoing responsibilities.
You must ensure any necessary repairs are carried out efficiently and the property must be well maintained. You must ensure the safety of all gas and electrical appliances and all furnishings adhere to the necessary fire safety regulations.