Becoming a private landlord offers the chance to make a lot of money further down the line but expect to put a lot of work in at the start. All successful landlords begin with just one house or flat to rent out and build up their empire from there.
The first steps are to source enough capital to buy a property or take out a buy-to-let mortgage before getting it in a good enough condition and on the market to attract potential tenants. There are a number of other important things every first-time landlord needs to do.
Get Great Tenants
There are loads of places online to list your property and get it seen. When you’ve got someone or a group of people keen to rent it out it is important you conduct the necessary checks. You will want to be sure your property is in safe hands and the tenants will be able to pay their rent. Conduct credit checks, call up references, and only allow them to rent the place if you are happy with them.
Understand Landlord Rights
As well as being aware of your tenants’ rights it is useful to know where you stand legally as a landlord, especially if something goes wrong. In order to flex your landlord rights in such a situation certain things must be in place. A written and signed agreement is vital along with keeping a record of any changes. Being paid via standing order or direct debit also provides proof if there are problems.
Take Out Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is essential as regular domestic insurance doesn’t usually cover rental properties. This gives you additional cover in case of issues with any of your properties. The insurance can sometimes be tailored to include things like non-payment of rent and other factors. It can also protect the tenants in case of an accident and the property from all sorts of damage.
Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks
Even if you’re 100% sure the tenants are as good as gold to keep your mind at ease visiting the property every six months or so to check up is advisable. The property will have some general wear and tear over time anyway and as a landlord, it is your responsibility for the upkeep of things like carpets and curtains. Fixing problems as soon as they arise will save money and hassle in the long run while keeping the landlord/tenant relationship healthy.