Whether you’ve just bought your very first property in the South West or your fifth, being a landlord is a role where you can continually keep learning new things and facing new challenges. Other than keeping abreast of what’s happening in the property market, you also need to ensure that you’re following all the latest rules and requirements for landlords.
Here at BOP, we’ve got years of experience working with landlords and dealing with the property market, so we’ve pretty much seen it all! To help you keep on top of all that you need to be aware of, we’ve created a handy list of the eight most essential things that every landlord should know.
1. Remain aware of what’s happening in the property market
The conditions of the South West housing market are continually changing. First and foremost, a good landlord should keep an eye on property market conditions. This will help inform you on how to market your property, as well as give you an idea of what price you should be expecting for it. You’ll also have a much better idea of the competition if you regularly do your market research
2. Understand the facilities in your property’s location
Knowing the local neighborhood that your property is located in can significantly affect how well you position your property. For instance, here in the South West, there are some excellent schools in the area, so you may want to market your property as a family home. Likewise, if it’s located on the commuter belt, you could think about converting it into separate flats to accommodate four individual tenants instead of just one household.
3. Ensure that your South West property is up to scratch
When you rent out a property, you need to ensure that it meets certain requirements. You must ensure that it is a liveable space with a safe environment for any tenants that move in.
Does it have the necessary smoke alarms? Are there any safety hazards? Is it wheelchair accessible?
Ask the team here at BOP, as we can help you understand all the requirements your property needs to meet before you can rent it out.
4. Short on time? BOP will be a huge help
Want someone else to take on the load of the actual property management? Hire BOP to look after your rental property and your tenants. Here are some of the many ways that we can help you:
- Advise you on rental property prices based on market conditions
- Market your property, online and offline
- Arrange and conduct viewings on your behalf
- Draw up tenancy agreements
- Property maintenance and repairs (no late-night calls about broken boilers for you!)
- Collect rent every month and chase up late payments
5. Work out your taxes
Before you start getting the rent paid into your bank account, you should register with HMRC to ensure that you’re taxed accordingly. You’ll be taxed on all rental income after the first £1,000.
It’s important to mention too that there are different tax rules for landlords depending on the type of property you own. Look into this on the HMRC website to make sure you’re doing all that’s legally required.
6. Set aside some money for emergency funds
As a landlord, you should always be prepared. To remain within your budget, set aside a small amount in case anything goes wrong. For example, if your property is unexpectedly vacant for a short period, you should ensure that you can cover your mortgage payments without rental income. Work out how long this period would be.
Set some money aside for any unexpected issues as well. No matter how new a property is, wear, tear, and weather may lead to the need for maintenance and repairs.
7. Comply with all legal requirements
There are many legal requirements that you must follow as a landlord to ensure the safety of your tenants and to avoid fines and penalties. These include:
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Subsequent Amendments. These state that all gas appliances must be safe and checked annually.
- The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their property is fitted with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
- The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. Under these regulations, the landlord is required to make sure that all electrical appliances in the property are safe to use
- .EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) & MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards). These state that all landlords must provide a valid EPC certificate to their prospective tenants.
8. Check whether your local council requires any specific licenses
Contact your local council to check whether any other licenses are needed before you rent out your property. Some councils will have specific mandatory regulations above and beyond the ones mentioned above.
Need expert advice?
If you need any advice on renting out your property, please get in touch with our team at BOP on 01237 479999 and we will be delighted to help you.