Tips for New Landlords

Added on September 12th 2018

If you’ve recently become a landlord, or if you’re about to welcome your first set of tenants into your rental property, then you could benefit from these important first-timer tips.

Remember that your rental property isn’t your home

Although you own the property, it’s not your home – it’s your tenants’ home. You might spend a small fortune on the interior décor, but to your taste and this could put off tenants as they know they won’t be able to change it. Remember that you’re running a business and so you need to appeal to as many “customers” as possible so that the place is never left empty. Safe and neutral is the way to go.

Make sure you have the right mortgage

You’ll need a buy-to-let mortgage, which is different to your own-home mortgage. Even within this distinction, there are other categories – your lender might not want you to have a multiple occupancy rental or you may not be able to rent out your property to a housing association.

Then there’s the insurance…

You’ll need special landlord insurance – you can’t just buy another buildings and contents policy like the one you have for your home. Even with the best tenants in the world, accidents and damage can happen, or the place could be burgled. As a landlord, you also need liability insurance – if one of your tenants is injured and takes legal action against you, you’re covered. Most insurers also offer a helpline for emergency repairs, break-ins and sudden water leaks so that you can send the necessary help round – even in the middle of the night.

Check all your certificates

You’ve got the neutral décor, the right mortgage, the right insurance… Have you also got all your gas and electricity certificates? Your gas boiler and any other gas appliances, as well as all your electrical sockets and lights will need to be inspected by gas engineers and electricians. Once you’re up to scratch you’ll get a certificate – which you’ll need in order to get your insurance. You need to renew this certification every year.

Make plans for the future

A rental property is a brilliant investment for the future, but you need to plan ahead. How much is your mortgage likely to be over the coming years and how much will your rental income be? How much of your profit will go on upkeep and improvements? If you keep the place in good shape then you’ll be able to ask more for it each month and your tenants will be more likely to look after it.

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