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Advice for First Time Landlords

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Buying a first buy to let property is exciting and can be a great investment.  It also means that you have to get some of the important legal and financial issues sorted out before you have tenants move into the property.

If you’ve never owned a buy to let property and never had tenants there are probably quite a few unknowns you might be unsure of or that could be causing you concern.

This article will give you a run-through of some of the most important requirements you need to have covered in order to rent your property to tenants legally and safely.

Provide an Energy Performance Certificate

It’s a legal requirement to give tenants the chance to view an Energy Performance Certificate of your property.  These certificates give ratings from A to G regarding the energy efficiency of the property.  A is the most energy efficient and G is the least.  In order to get a certificate you will need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor.

Protect your Tenant’s Deposit

By law you need to put tenant’s deposits into a deposit protection scheme within 14 days of receiving the money.  A Tenancy deposit protection scheme is there to guarantee that tenants get their deposits back at the end of their rental agreement providing that the property they have rented isn’t damaged.

Landlord Insurance

Having the right Landlord Insurance for your property is crucial.  This is a different kind of insurance than you would normally take out if you were living in your own home.  If something in your property is damaged or if someone is injured in your property you may well need Landlord Insurance to cover a claim.

Make Sure your Property Complies with Safety Regulations

It’s important to make sure that your property meets all the appropriate safety regulations.  The electrical appliances need to be checked every few years.  Gas appliances need to follow a similar procedure.  A “Gas Safe” engineer needs to inspect your gas appliances to make sure they meet all the correct requirements.

Hire an Agent

If you don’t want to deal with a lot of the administration and safety checks yourself you can always appoint an agent to look after the property.  They will charge you a certain amount of the rental income but it could save you time.

One of the best things you can do when becoming a Landlord is do a bit of research yourself and try to become as knowledgeable as possible about the whole process.  There could be legal issues and implications you might need to familiarise yourself with as well as the procedures for resolving disputes between Landlords and Tenants.

The legal and safety issues might seem overwhelming if you’re just starting out as a Landlord but once you have them all sorted out, being a Landlord doesn’t need to be so daunting.

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3 Responses to “Advice for First Time Landlords”

  1. Gareth says:

    Nice article with some good advice, thanks.

  2. FourEd says:

    This is very sound advice. Being a landlord is not easy and advice like this should be available more often. Thanks for sharing.

  3. James Hall says:

    Some advice for first time landlords.

    1. Make sure your agent has client money protection insurance – Not every agent has!

    2. Arrange rent arrears insurance – its low cost so why take chances

    3. Fin a professional agent that has the knowledge and expertise to talk to you in detail about the risks o0f letting property- because as with any investment – it doesn’t always go to plan

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