First Time Landlord? Here’s What You Need To Know

By : Nick Marr

If you’re starting to think about becoming a landlord then you’re probably buried up to your ears in research, paperwork, and mortgage applications. It’s definitely an exciting time but one that’s marked by a series of complicated questions the answer to which are not that easily found. We’ve put together a list of things to consider if you’re thinking of becoming a landlord to hopefully make the process a little smoother.

Before making an offer on any property it’s important to have a solid idea of the kind of tenants you will be targeting and the suitability of the property for them. If you would like to attract young professionals or commuters, then the property specifications will look very different than if you’re trying to attract students. The same applies to other factors like transport links and the standard to which a property is finished. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just a lot of research that needs to be done so that you end up with the right property, in the right area, in order to rent your property quickly to the most suitable tenants.

If you have settled on a property, the next decision you’ll have to make is about the décor. In an ideal world, the property you purchase will be in good condition and require minimal work – but that’s not always the case. It’s worth remembering that whilst decorating may not improve the value of your property, it can help a lot with attracting the tenants you’re after. Neutral is still the best way to go when it comes to decorating; going for a satin finish paint will make cleaning between tenancies easier. Professionals and commuters will appreciate furnished properties, finished to a high standard, that are ready to use from the get go. Think of including basics and not going for the cheapest pieces around since they’ll need replacing more often.

Becoming a landlord means taking on a lot of responsibility and it’s important for you to know what this means from a legal point of view. Some aspect will be non-negotiable and of most these relate to health and safety: smoke alarms, gas safety certificates, and more. Not providing this at the start of the tenancy is illegal and can endanger the lives of your tenants. Read up about all your legal rights and obligations on the government’s official website.

Lastly, although we always hope for the best it is best to be prepared for a range of situations. Things will get dirty and sometimes break, meaning you’ll have to replace them. Some of this will be covered by the rent income you make but in the case of larger repairs it’s worth having landlord insurance in place, so you’re never overwhelmed by surprise expenditures. Landlord insurance is different from building’s insurance, which you may already have, as the cover includes a range of scenarios that are specific to renting and housing tenants. Click here for more information on insurance options available to you.