5 mistakes you don’t want to make as a landlord
By Alex Timperley, 25 February 2016
The steady growth of the Buy-to-Let market in the past several years makes it an appealing investment opportunity. The income from such a property doesn’t hurt either. Just like many other things in life, it may seem easy enough to buy a property and let it out, but the truth is it requires work – not only from the moment you’re renting the property, but from the moment you decide that you are going to invest.
Picking the wrong location
First and foremost, it is important that you pick the right property in the right location. Preferably this would be a good neighbourhood with shops, transport links, schools and a variety of recreational facilities. Having a top-notch property can mean little when it’s in the middle of nowhere or in an undesirable area with low demand.
Do some research first: look into different areas, take interest in current as well as potential for future demand. Ask around to find out what other landlords in the area charge for rent. Have a think over what kind of tenants you want to attract – Students? Young professionals? Families?
Lastly, you should make sure that you’ll be able to visit the property when need be. If you are an overseas landlord or are looking to invest far away from home, you can hire a lettings agent to view the property on your behalf.
Entering into a tenancy agreement with the wrong people
Tenants can be a dream or a nightmare to deal with. Fortunately, which kind you’ll have to deal with is entirely up to you. It’s all a matter of screening your potential tenants before you let them into your property.
Having a chat with them to find out why they’re looking to rent, how long they plan to stay and what drew them to your property in particular (as well as conducting your right-to-rent check) can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Not maintaining your property
If your property needs any kind of repairs the best thing to do is simply to fix what needs fixing. It may seem pricey but ask yourself: would you agree to live in a substandard property? If the answer is “no”, then why should someone else?
Failure to maintain your property can cause your relationship with your tenant to deteriorate. It can also cause the property to become unsafe resulting in your tenants deciding to leave the property. That would lead to a void period (one where the property does not generate any income) and lack of funds for you, which would prove a lot more expensive than the cost of that initial repair.
Fostering a bad relationship with your tenant
Strenuous relationships with a landlord can cause tenants to withhold information that quite often a landlord will need to know, for instance repairs which need to be carried out or possible delays in payment of rent. If you have a bad relationship with your tenant even something as simple as a scheduled property inspection can become an unpleasant task.
Having a good relationship with your tenant and treating them respectfully works out best for everyone involved.
Failing to keep up with relevant legislation
Legislation dealing with landlords, tenancies and renting changes regularly. Keeping up to date with everything is a key part of the successful landlord’s job description, whether that is done personally or delegated to a carefully selected letting agent.
If you fear that you won’t have time to keep up with everything, then it is worth considering hiring an expert letting agent, such as Intus Lettings. They will stay on top of the legislation and be able to answer any questions which arise. They will also make sure you comply with the law since some of the liability falls onto them as well.
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