What to do before becoming a landlord
You’ve bought your first buy to let property and are now preparing for your first tenants, but what needs to be done? You’ll need to make a few big decisions about how you are going to manage your property, and ensure that a number of items are in place before you tenants move in. Luckily, we have compiled a handy list to help ensure that your buy-to-let investment is a complete success!
As a Landlord, you have a duty of care to your tenants, so make sure your property is protected by arranging the following checks and installations:
- Smoke alarm fitted on every floor of the property, where there is a room that will be used as living space
- Carbon monoxide detector installed in every room with a solid fuel-burning appliance
- A valid Gas Safety and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
When renting property accidents will happen, which can prove costly if you do not have the right level of cover in place! Landlord Insurance provides the specialist level of cover you need to protect both the structure and rental income of your investment.
As expert mortgage and protection advisors, we can ensure that you get the right level of cover for your personal requirements, so you can be rest assured that your investment is safe.
Do your homework!
Finding the right tenants is often the most complex part of the letting process. It’s important to know who you are letting your property to, and a letting agency can help you with this.
Letting agencies can help mitigate any potential risks by conducting in-depth tenant references, which typically include employment details, addresses, bank statements and references from their current landlord (if applicable). They will also carry out the necessary checks to ensure that that your tenants are legally able to rent in the UK, so you can be rest assured that everything is above board.
Arrange a tenancy agreement
Once you have found the right tenants, you will need to provide them with a tenancy agreement. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) contract is generally used for this purpose, and contains the proposed dates and duration of the tenancy, a breakdown of the rent payments and the required notice period, if the tenancy is terminated by either party.
Protect your tenants’ deposits
As a landlord, you must ensure that your tenants’ deposits are kept in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme, such as the Deposit Protection Service, who will intervene should a dispute about your tenants’ deposit arise at the end of the tenancy.
Set the bar
Before your tenants move in, it’s important to set out how you expect your property to be maintained, particularly if you decide to let is as a part or fully furnished let. Conducting an inventory before and after a tenancy, will help you to keep check of your assets and their condition, and reduce the chances of a potential dispute – Using a letting agent or independent inventory clerk to make sure this is done correctly, is certainly worthwhile!
Need a letting agent?
Working full-time and being a landlord can be demanding! But, using a letting agent can help to reduce the burden. They can manage all the necessary advertising, viewings, screenings, inspections, repairs and rental income for you. If you favour a more hands on approach, most agencies will also offer a tailored service, so they can help out where needed.
CLS Money, an award winning, whole of market UK mortgage broker, is delighted to announce that it’s Mortgage and Protection Adviser, Clayton Shipton, has been selected as a finalist at the 2017 British Mortgage Awards, for the prestigious ‘Specialist Broker’ award.
The British Mortgage Awards recognises the stand out achievements of the most deserving individuals in the UK mortgage industry, and is attended by the industry’s biggest and brightest.
Clayton Shipton, CLS said: ‘’We pride ourselves on finding customers the right mortgage at the best price, no matter their credit score, and I am extremely grateful to all our clients who took the time to nominate me for this prestigious award.
‘’The past 12 months have been the most successful in the company’s six year history, and being chosen as a finalist for this award is the pinnacle of what we have been able to achieve to date.’’
Teaching children to save
With an increasing number of first-time buyers relying on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ to help them get on the property ladder, teaching children to save and understand the value of money from an early age has never been more important. No matter how young or old your children may be, we have put together a number of handy tips that will help make them savvy savers in no time!
Letting young children see and handle coins and notes regularly is the best way to get them used to money being a part of their everyday lives. To help them learn to understand the value of money, raid your money box and stack piles of coins next to each other, using the various coin denominations, until each one equals £1. Once you have completed this, take the piles down and ask your child to rebuild them.
If you want something, you’ve got to pay for it!
Plan a family day out and list all the things you’ll be doing including food and transport. Work out a realistic budget for this and withdraw the cash. Let your child count and hand over the money whenever you do an activity that requires money – If they want to do something that you haven’t planned for, explain to them that there may not be enough money to do this, as well as the other things you have planned.
The £1 challenge
Give your child a £1 to spend on whatever they choose in a local shop. Ask them what they want to buy and if they can afford it. If they are struggling, take them to an area in the shop where you know they will be able to buy something for this amount, and ask them what they think.
Save, spend, save again
The best way to get children to understand the true value of money, is to let them save and spend their own cash. Work out a reasonable amount to give them each week, maybe get them to help you out around the home to earn this, and let them decide how they spend it.
Buying them a moneybox or opening a bank account will also give them somewhere to store their savings and teach them that money needs to be looked after and kept safe – For teenagers, gradually increase their allowance so that they can learn to budget for their toiletries, clothes and social activities.
Planning for success!
Talk to your child about saving for something they really want and help them work out how long it would take to buy it. If it’s a fairly expensive item, why not agree to pay a certain amount towards it, if they save the rest?
Planning and budgeting is particularly effective for older children. Getting them to plan an event from start to finish, detailing everything involved including; activities, food, drink and transportation, and working out how much it’s going to cost, can help them realise if it’s affordable and if anything can be done cheaper.
‘Just put it on your card’
If paying on a debit and/or credit card is your family’s preferred method of payment, it’s important to familiarise your children with how this works also, so that they learn that money isn’t free! The best way to do this is to let them see you paying for something on your card and then showing them your bank statement after, so that they can see the money leaving your account and your remaining balance after.
CLS Money is delighted to announce the official launch of its brand new website!
As part of its continuous commitment to providing customers with the 5 star service they deserve, CLS’ new website has been developed to enhance its customers’ online experience, and offer valuable advice to help them make informed decisions about their mortgage and protection needs.
Here’s what’s changed:
Brand new look
The new website has been given a fresh new look to compliment CLS’ modern and engaging brand
The Company’s extensive product portfolio has been streamlined to help customers get the information they need fast!
Straight talking advice
The site is packed full of engaging content to help educate users on the mortgage and insurance products available on the market
Hot topics & sizzling saving ideas
The Company’s handy and informative guides, articles, and announcements and now accessible from one central place
Advice at the touch of a button!
More options have been added throughout the site to help customers get in touch with one of the company’s expert mortgage and protection advisers
And that’s not all…
Over the coming months, the company will be adding some exciting new features to the site, so watch this space!
CLS hopes that you will like the changes and enjoy using its new website. If you have any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please do get in touch – Happy surfing!