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Renting out a property for the first time

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Rental property is a great way to earn additional income, and if done right, it can be a very lucrative long-term investment. For those renting out a property for the first time, this guide will provides advice on what it takes to find reliable tenants and protect your property.

Guide to renting out a property for the first time

Seek out an expert letting agent

An expert letting agent will be worth their weight in gold, particularly when renting out a property for the first time. They provide advice on potential rental income based on experience of the local rental market. In addition, letting agents help find reliable tenants, carry out referencing, draw up contracts, handle deposits and conduct inventories.

Standards of service vary a lot and therefore it is important to use a reputable letting agent, like us, to look after your property.

Choose an option that works for you

There are different levels of service to choose from including Tenant Find/Let Only and Fully Managed options. Choose an option that works for you – SEE MORE

Think about the type of tenants you’d be happy with

Are you happy with small children, for example? What about tenants who work from home or work nights? And will you allow smokers or pets? Always meet tenants before signing a contract, especially if you aren’t using an agent’s fully managed service.

Know your legal responsibilities

You have many legal responsibilities to comply with otherwise you could face heavy fines or imprisonment.

Legal responsibilities include;

  • Gas Safety Certificates
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Legionella risk assessment
  • Registering deposits in a recognised tenancy deposit schemes
  • Prescribing tenants with the Governments How to Rent Guide
  • Carrying out ‘Right to Rent’ checks

Usually agents offering a Fully Managed service will help you stay and up to date on legislation. But it is worth checking they are qualified to do this. Seek out an ARLA Propertymark agent to be sure.

Consider the tenancy terms

The standard contract between a landlord and tenant is called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST). Consider the terms of the agreement to make sure you are happy with key points including the length of tenancy and early notice period.

Weigh up cost vs effort

You’ll need to decide if you want to manage the property yourself or get a lettings agent to manage it for you. If you don’t live locally, don’t have experience or don’t the time, a fully managed service is worth the money.

Set high standards

Setting high standards will increase your chances of finding reliable tenants who will look after your property. It also increases the chances of them staying longer. Give your property a deep clean – this means windows, shower heads, ovens, fridges and down behind radiators. Deal with any maintenance issues promptly before and during any tenancy.

Collect all instruction manuals

Collect all instruction manuals for the boiler, alarm system, cooker and white goods so your tenant has them to hand. And leave any keys they might need for gas and electricity meters to be read. It’s a nice idea to leave a page of handy hints e.g recommendations for a local window cleaner or gardener, your tenant’s will really appreciate this whilst taking care of the property!

Keep up to speed on tax laws

As a landlord, the rent you get from a property will be classed as taxable income. If you are letting a furnished property, currently you will no longer be able to claim 10% ‘wear and tear’ costs against your tax bill. From April 2017 relief on mortgage interest is capped for all landlords at the basic rate of 20%, even if you pay tax at 45%.

Find out about renting your property with John German – SEE MORE

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Date Posted

May 20, 2019

Article Category

Author

Katy Storer

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