If you’re thinking of letting your home, or any other property, there are many considerations you must make, and also a great deal of legislation to take care of. That said, it’s one of the best ways to create additional income. If you’ve got money to invest, property has always been one of the most valuable assets available.
In the following article, we’re going to look into the basics that everyone must consider—wherever their property is, however much it’s worth, and whatever their market position.
Can I let my property?
The first stumbling block for many owners, is that they can’t, or don’t find out until they’re already in trouble, let their property due to legal stipulations by their lenders.
Many mortgage contracts state that the buyer needs to complete a consent for lease form before they can legally let a property.
You may need to change the type of mortgage you have (for those still paying for their properties). The necessary update would be to a buy-to-let mortgage. Switching to this from a standard mortgage will likely involve higher rates and additional costs.
What legal regulations should I cover?
Landlords need to abide by the laws of the country of their property’s whereabouts. Each of which will have their specific needs, but items to consider, wherever they’re located, are as follows:
· Credit checks
· Right to rent checks
· Deposit management
· Fit for habitation laws
· Gas and electricity safety checks
· Appliance testing
· Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors/alarms
· Energy performance certificates
· Rental information packs
· Rental registration
· Income tax and National Insurance payments
· Landlord laws and responsibilities
How much rent should I charge?
You must research your market thoroughly. The good news is that there are plenty of platforms available to help evaluate what your property is worth. Check each of the rental websites that cover the area of your property. If you fail to get an accurate estimation, you may never find a tenant due to being over-priced, or realize you’re not making the money you should be.
Make sure you carry out comprehensive calculations into what it’s going to cost to let your property—you’re running a business now, after all. If the profit isn’t what you hoped for, it might not be worth taking such a venture on the first place.
How should I prepare my property for a rental market?
For some, this will mean dragging their property up to a suitable standard; for others, it will mean removing valuables and treasured possessions, protecting its most cherished assets.
If you’re letting a property as a furnished home-from-home—for short- or mid-term lets, or as holiday accommodation—then it should be furnished to a standard reflected by the rental price.
If your property is aiming at a long-term let market, then it may only require the basics. Furnish it with all the white goods it needs but keep furniture to a minimum. Your tenants are likely to have much of their own already.
Don’t leave anything in the property you aren’t prepared to lose. Accidents happen, breakages are practically guaranteed at some point, and every type of item will go missing from time-to-time, without explanation.
You’ll need copies of keys for doors and windows, instructions for alarms, heating, showers, and how to operate the property’s many appliances.
How do I find tenants?
Finding tenants requires a great deal of effort in marketing and advertising. This can come at a high financial cost, and take up a great deal of your time. You’ll also have to find time to vet which tenants are the most suitable for your property.
If you choose an agent, much of their fee will go towards finding tenants and carrying out property showings. You should be aware that they won’t be anywhere near as invested in the vetting process as you are. Most will be more interested in sealing the deal than protecting your investment.
What type of contract should I provide?
Dependent on location, you’ll need the appropriate paperwork and contracts to suit your country’s laws. A solicitor will always be the best bet to protect from the nuances of the contract and any rising situation. It might cost a little extra in the short-term but stands to save you thousands when you need it.
What type of insurance should I take out?
Make sure to review the many options of landlord insurance for your property. First, you need to protect your property from damage due to unforeseen circumstances. Your buildings and contents insurance will need updating to cover tenants.
You also need insurance to protect you from unpaid rent situations, especially if you’re still paying into a mortgage. Specific buy-to-let insurance policies are a must to protect your mortgage.
Who takes care of the maintenance?
As a landlord, you’ll be responsible for making sure the property is kept in its best state of repair—including everything from a leaky roof to a dripping tap. You’ll effectively be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make sure you have a selection of tradesmen in your contacts and do your best to build a healthy relationship with them. Even with the best luck in the world, you’re going to need them far more often than you think.
How much tax and insurance do I have to pay?
Again, each country has its own regulations in income tax, rental tax, National Insurance, and the different required licences you’ll need to acquire.
Each government’s website will have the details you need—including costs and how to pay. It should be one of the very first stops for would-be landlords.
Do I need to monitor my tenants?
You need to show your tenants the same respect as you expect them to show you by return. Monitoring tenants doesn’t necessarily mean policing them—to make sure they’re living within your rules and protecting your property—but also to make sure they’re receiving everything they need from you, their landlord. A healthy relationship between tenant and landlord ensures the smooth operation required by both parties.
Should I let my property myself or use an agency?
This is your biggest consideration. Of course, you stand to make more money by managing each of the aspects being a landlord demands, but that additional reward comes with a great deal of extra work. Depending on your agent, they should manage almost all of the above items on your behalf. However, that comes with a fee. You will have to weigh up how much you want to earn, with how much involvement you have time for.
We’re here to help you manage your property
Our agency excels in managing high-end European city properties. We handle everything for our clients, becoming the landlords to your tenants. You only have to read our testimonials to see how easy we make life for our partners. We consistently take care of every last detail and to meticulous standards.
As well as our superior levels of service, success is assured by having high-quality pre-vetted tenants waiting for our properties. We’ll also guarantee your rent as standard—whether there’s a tenant in place or not.