Will Leyland, 19 May 2016
In an age where all property can be viewed as an investment or mini business there are often times when previously inexperienced people suddenly find themselves thrown in to the world of a landlord. It can be intimidating and perhaps a little overwhelming when acquiring a property through inheritance, a relative entering care or inability to sell but we’ve made a small guide on how to make the most out of being a landlord.
The first thing you’ll need to do upon acquiring a property is to go and inspect it with a totally unbiased view. This may be difficult at first if the property has been a family home or holds fond memories but if you’re going to maximise the profit potential of any house then things like old carpets, dated wallpapers and tired curtains will all need to be replaced. It’s within your interest to take stock of everything you’re going to need to replace and the work that’s going to need to be done before going to the next stage.
Safety and Maintenance
Safety and good maintenance of the property should be your top priority as preventable accidents and poor safety conditions leave you open to prosecution and financial disaster. You will need to assess your property with a critical eye, are there drops in the garden that may need fencing off? Rusty nails hanging out of the gates? These are things that will need to be rectified.
As the landlord you will also be responsible for acquiring all relevant safety certificates such as gas safety and electrical standards. There’s no room for error here, so a good tip would be to appoint a good and reputable management company.
Invest some money
It seems like an obvious point but to bring your property up to scratch you’re going to have to put some money in to it. The rental market is extremely competitive these days and if you want to get the most in rent for the long term then a short term investment is a must.
That being said this doesn’t necessarily mean massive money. Things such as floral carpets, net curtains and non-neutral colour paint will need to be replaced and most of the time these can be replaced at a low cost by doing some DIY and buying replacements from stores such as B&Q and Matalan. You’ll be surprised the difference a new carpet and a lick of paint can make to the appearance of a previously dated looking house and it will attract higher paying tenants.
Get in the professionals
It’s always tempting as a money saver to do as much DIY as you can whether advertising your property, arranging tenancy paperwork or arranging viewings. This certainly is the case when making small improvements to your property but in the long run it always pays to bring in professionals to lease your property and manage the day to day running.
As a general rule of thumb those landlords that find themselves with a property that needs leasing work full time or are often short of time so should you decide to manage your own property you’ll need to find the time for advertising, viewings, referencing, legal contracts, requirements and insurances.
A good letting agent will not only save the landlord a large amount of time, but will also often source the best tenants and have excellent contract agreements in place for maintenance issues.
With many letting agents offering deals such as six months free management and the first let free there’s many reasons why running your own mini property business can be made infinitely easier by getting in the right professionals.
Will Leyland, 19 May 2016