Have you always dreamed of being a landlord? If you’re tempted by the idea of owning property, managing tenants and maintaining buildings, then look no further – here are the 5 key stages to becoming a landlord.
Stage 1: Find your property
The first thing you’ll need is a property to let, but before you hurry to your nearest estate agent’s, take some time to think about what sort of landlord you want to be. Are you interested in letting homes to families, or do you dream of being a student-property mogul with a huge portfolio? Maybe offices or commercial spaces are more your style? Do your research: talk to other landlords to find out what types of properties would best suit your lifestyle, and make sure you are in a good position to take the financial risk. Then you can dive into the buy-to-let market fully prepared.
Stage 2: Sort the legal stuff
Once you have a property to rent, there are a few people you must inform about your intentions. First, if you still have a mortgage on the property you’re letting then you must tell your mortgage lender, otherwise you may be breaking the contract of your mortgage (of course, this is not a problem if you own the property outright). Similarly, if you’re letting out a flat, you should tell the freeholder of the building. Finally, make sure you tell your property’s insurer, as the conditions of your insurance will change and you may need to take out specialist landlord insurance.
Stage 3: Learn your responsibilities
As a landlord, there are certain things you must do when you let out a property. To begin with, you must provide your tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate and an Energy Performance Certificate, and if you are providing appliances or letting out an HMO then you must also schedule regular electrical inspections. You will also be responsible for putting the tenants’ deposits in a secure deposit scheme, repairing and maintaining the exterior and structure of the building, and making sure the property conforms to certain fire regulations. Find out more about your responsibilities on the Gov.uk website.
Stage 4: Get accredited
Getting landlord accreditation can help you let out your property, give potential tenants extra peace of mind, and improve your knowledge of the rental sector. The National Landlords Association offers a course that leads to accreditation and a place on the National Register of Accredited Landlords, and many local councils offer incentives to landlords with this accreditation. For student letting there’s Unipol, which offers local accreditation in Leeds, Bradford and Nottingham, as well as a National Code for larger developments; and in the south-west, several councils offer the Landlord Development Programme.
Stage 5: Let it out
Once your property is ready and you know what’s expected of you as a landlord, it’s time to get letting! You can do this alone – advertise your property, conduct viewings, collect deposits and sign contracts – or you could hire a letting agent like Gough Quarters to do the legwork for you. Many letting agents will help you get your property rented and then hand over control to you, or you could ask if they offer an option to manage the property once it has been let. Whatever you choose, once those first tenants move in, you’re officially a landlord!
Interested in becoming a landlord in Bristol? Contact Gough Quarters to find out more.
All images courtesy of Pixabay