With property prices increasing year after year, and demand constantly outstripping supply, becoming a landlord can often be a great way to take advantage of your property. Becoming a landlord is something that many people undertake in addition to having a full-time job, and can provide an excellent supplementary revenue stream.
The first thing you will want to do is consider the demand for properties that your property is situated in. Having a look at property sites like Zoopla, Prime Location and Right Move will allow you to check rental prices and assess how strong the demand is for rental properties.
If you have any friends or family that are landlords it would be worth having a friendly chat to decide whether you want to manage the home yourself or hire a property management company to oversee the property. At Galaxy Lettings, we can help value your property and provide you with a monthly rental income in London and South East – contact us for more information.
The rental income from your property should cover the costs of administering the rental property. However, it is vital that you are well prepared and have savings should the property go empty for a month whilst you look for a tenant, or you have to pay out for serious repairs. As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining large appliances like the boiler or bathroom and you will need to fix these should they break through no fault of the tenant.
As well as repairs, you will also need to be aware of other fees such; mortgage repayments, furniture, agency fees, insurance and making sure that your property is safe and up to standard.
There are a number of responsibilities that you will have as a landlord to ensure that your tenants are safe and secure. You will need to insure for possibilities such as severe weather damage and fire to the property. If you have provided furniture in the property, it is important that it all stays in good working condition.
Before any tenancy begins it is imperative that you maintain the safety of the house or flat you are letting and that there working fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. It is also extremely important that when you receive a tenant’s deposit before move-in, you keep the funds in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Not adequately setting aside your tenants deposit could leave you liable to serious penalties and/or fines.
When you let your property out to a tenant, you lose certain rights, one of those being unfettered access to your property. You will need to give adequate notice to your tenant before entering, even if it is to undertake essential repairs in the home.
At the same time, it is your right to receive the rent on time and in full. Should the tenant fail to pay the rent, you have a right to end the tenancy. Furthermore, you can bring legal action to force the tenant to pay should you be left out of pocket.
As a landlord, there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be finalised before any tenancy begins. One important area where your flat needs to be certified is the energy efficiency of the property. Tenants will want to know how expensive it is to maintain the utilities in their home and this can only be known through having a domestic energy assessment, that will give your property a rating from A (most efficient) to E (least efficient).
In addition, you will need to provide your tenant with a tenancy agreement so both you and the tenant are aware of each other’s rights, responsibilities and obligations. Before the tenants move in you will need to make note of the condition of your property and everything in it, so you will have a clear idea if you need to charge your tenant for anything once the term is over.
If your property is mortgaged you will need to acquire permission from your lender, as most mortgages are contracted on the assumption that the person applying for the mortgage is living in the property. There are specific buy-to-let mortgages on the market and it may be worthwhile switching to these in the long run.
If you are looking to rent your property out to more than three unrelated people you will need to apply for a housing multiple occupation (HMO) license from the council. If you require professional assistance in managing your property, completing paperwork and the legal side of letting your property in London – get in touch with Galaxy, to see how we can help you with all your property needs.
Once you totally understand the required steps necessary to become a landlord, the next step is finding a tenant. Read our helpful guide to letting your property for more information about letting your property and finding a tenant. Alternatively, contact Galaxy Lettings about letting your property with us and never worrying about finding tenants again!
Based on the experience so far, I feel that I can trust and rely on the team at Galaxy. Edward and the team are a friendly bunch and have always gone above and beyond compared to other agents I have used in the past.