Top things to do before becoming a landlord

15th May 2017

## 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!

Safety first

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)

Get covered

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.

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