With the housing market in crisis, more homeowners are letting out properties they cannot sell. This has led to a number of “accidental landlords” that fail to understand their responsibilities and duties.
If this situation sounds familiar, it’s important to live up to your new role and to protect yourself (and your property) in every way possible – so take a look at these five useful tips:
Take out landlord-insurance
First and foremost, you must take out landlord insurance with a reputable company. This will help protect your rental property against a range of home incidents and emergencies and could save you a lot of money in the long run. Reputable policies cover everything from plumbing and drains to electrical wiring and roof damage, so make sure you read the small print before you sign on the dotted line.
Revamp your property
The competition is tough out there, so revamp your property as much as possible. Give the walls a lick of paint, lay a new carpet (if necessary) and make sure your property is as clean as possible. A few tweaks here and there will give you a higher change of renting your property and will ensure your occupants have a nice, comfortable place to live. Landlords have a duty of care toward their tenants, so try not to cut corners.
Place a suitable advert
Do you want to rent to young professionals or students? Will you allow families or couples? Is your property for smokers or non-smokers? Whatever you decide, you must draw up a suitable advert. State the type of tenants you’re looking for, jot down the weekly rent price and make sure you include a phone number or email address so people can contact you. Advertise on the internet and in local shops and you should find your business starts to thrive.
Interview all tenants
Once you’ve taken out a landlord insurance policy, revamped your house and created your advert – it’s time to interview tenants. This is an extremely important process that must be handled with care. The right tenants will make your life bearable, but the wrong tenants could make your life hell, so take the time to meet each and every individual. Of course, first impressions can be deceiving, but go with your instincts and take your time to choose someone suitable.
Ask for references and deposits
To help with your decision, ask all tenants to provide a reference from a former landlord and employer. This will give you an overview of their character and will help you select an individual with a good background. You should also run a credit check and ask to see a signed contract of employment, so that you know they will pay rent. Finally ask, for a deposit to secure the room and find out more about deposit protection schemes.
Being a landlord can be fun, but it’s important to do things right.