If you are a landlord, you are running a business – so you’ll want to make sure that it runs as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.
Here are four things you, as a landlord, may want to know.
1. You’ve got the best letting agent
If you decide to use the services of a letting agent then you want to make sure they are working hard to get you the most suitable tenants – and looking after them properly.
How do you find the right letting agent for you?
- Word of mouth is always a good option. If you know other landlords, ask for their recommendations;
- ARLA – the Association of Rental Letting Agents – has an online service where you can find lettings agency in your area. This will then give you a chance to interview them and see what services they offer;
- Lettings agents aren’t regulated, but the more reputable ones typically belong to the aforementioned ARLA or the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS);
- Check what services they offer. If they say they produce inventories etc., then ask them how they will prove this. Will they send you copies?
Ultimately, choosing a lettings agency will be based on trial and error, but these tips may help you narrow down a selection of the better ones.
2. Your landlord insurance policy won’t let you down
There are a number of landlord insurance policies available to choose from, giving you the ability to cherry pick the one that is the most cost-effective and appropriate for you.
You should note, however, that not only can prices vary, but the policy features and benefits too.
For example, some buy to let insurance policies include subsidence cover as standard, others don’t.
Some have options that you can add on for even greater peace of mind – such as our Rent Guarantee Insurance that is designed to help protect your rental income if a tenant defaults on their payments.
Note that some policies exclude certain tenant types (for example, those in receipt of DHSS or asylum seekers), so it is imperative that you choose the policy that provides the protection you need.
When choosing your landlord insurance, it is worth investing some time in making sure you get the most appropriate one for you (or get in touch with us and we can do the legwork on your behalf!)
3. That you are meeting all your legal obligations
As a landlord, you have many obligations you need to meet when letting your property – both before a tenant moves in and during their tenancy.
Making sure you keep up to date with these requirements as well as any changes to legislation doesn’t need to be a chore.
Specialist websites such Landlordzone or the property sections of the national newspapers are a good source for any changes in legislation.
For current obligations you need to meet, visit the Government website for details.
You can also find out here about tenancies and what you need to do in order to comply with the law.
4. That your books are all up to date
Make sure you keep all your receipts – incoming and outgoing – up to date as well details of costs associated with your business (e.g. mortgage repayments, insurance, repairs, etc).
There are a number of landlord’s software accounting packages available that may be useful to maintain your books, and make it easier when you need to submit your annual Tax Return.