Landlords: Your Guide to Becoming a Landlord
When is there a better time to become a landlord?
Landlords have the upper hand in today’s climate. With a fragile economy, ever-growing population but a shortage in affordable housing, landlords would certainly benefit from offering rented accommodation.
Become a Landlord
Becoming a landlord is not as simple as finding a tenant and renting it out. There are few things that need to be carried out and certified first.
Ensure safety of gas supply:
It is the landlords’ responsibility to ensure the property is Gas Safe. You must ensure a Gas Safe Engineer checks the property and provides a satisfactory Gas Safety Certificate. You must also, by law organise an annual check up, to guarantee it is always safe.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):
It is a legal requirement to provide tenants with an energy performance certificate (EPC), which verifies the property is energy efficient. These will cost around £100 which can be obtained through their website www.uk-epc.co.uk. Failing to do so, you could be fined.
Ensure there are efficient fire alarms fitted, in the event of a fire. You must also check regularly that they work.
Shared facility licence:
If you plan to let the house to more than one household, then it may be classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). You may need to register with your local authority and obtain a licence.
Failure to do so could land you with a hefty fine.
Protect the deposit:
Any landlord is likely to take a deposit from its tenants in order to protect against any damage or unpaid rents. It is very important that this deposit is secured, which stands to reason the fines issued if it is not placed in a Government-approved deposit scheme.
You must insure that you declare any income from tenants as it may very well be taxable.
Obtain Landlords Insurance:
Landlords insurance can be a complicated policy. You will need to make sure you get the right cover as it could mean you are not 100% protected.
If the accommodation is furnished in any way, then landlords contents insurance will provide cover for these items if they were to be damaged.
Buildings cover will provide cover for things that would happen to the property, incidents such as burst pipes, fallen roof or a broken window
Landlords insurance will also cover unfortunate events such as floods, fire or theft.
Constructaquote.com is an experienced panel of commercial insurance advisors who can tailor policies to meet your needs.
Now you need to find a tenant
Understandably, when looking for a potential tenant, you don’t come across someone and just let them move into your property.
You will want a good tenant. One, who is reliable, trustworthy and responsible.
How to find one:
- References are a must. You must get a reference from employers or previous landlords.
- Arrange a meeting. Meet the potential tenant before you offer them the property. That way you can see what kind of person they are.
- Credit Check. If possible, obtain a check to ensure they are responsible with finances.
Protect yourself with a tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement is the contract between the tenant and yourself, as a landlord. It gives the tenant the right to occupy the accommodation and you to receive rent for letting the accommodation.
These can be obtained online or through a solicitor.
Things that will be included in an agreement are:
- The address of the property
- The landlord and the tenants name
- Date that the tenancy will begin
- Duration of the tenancy
- Tenants and landlords responsibilities – maintenance, repairs and laundry
- Deposits and fees payable
- Cost of rent
- The length of notice which is to be given if the contract is to be ended
This business advice article was provided by Constructaquote.com
Constructaquote.com is an online insurance quote comparison service dedicated to UK small business, working with a panel of the UK’s leading insurance providers, from Aviva and Fortis to MMA and AXA.