The market for the rental of property shows no sign of diminishing as national statistics continue to show a shortfall in the numbers of new houses being built.
Property Scene spoke to Richard Ainsworth, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors to get an expert view on some of the aspects to be aware of if you are thinking of becoming a landlord for the first time.
I am not sure if I want to become a landlord. What sort of things do I need to consider?
Before deciding on whether becoming a landlord is for you, it is important to understand that there are legal responsibilities imposed on landlords. The government guide for landlords has detailed information regarding both landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. This guidance includes a number of important features but from a landlords perspective it includes the following:
You must ensure you keep your rented property safe and free from health hazards. All gas and electrical equipment has to be safely installed and maintained.
An energy performance certificate must be provided.
You must protect your tenant’s deposit in a government approved scheme.
You must check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it is in England.
As a landlord, rental income in the UK will be taxed.
This list is not exhaustive but Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors can provide advice on the legal aspects of renting property and it is important to speak to a letting agent regarding the commercial considerations to take into account.
What sort of property is suitable for renting?
Purchasing a property to rent is very different from buying a property to live in. A property may not be to your personal taste but there are common traits for the type of property which rents well. It is also important to understand what type of tenant you want to target. A letting agent can provide guidance here.
Are there any mistakes commonly made by new landlords?
One common mistake is new landlords sometimes assume that a property will be rented 12 months of the year which often is not the case. There may be costs in bringing a property up to government safety standards. If finance is raised to buy a property then this will be a commitment regardless of rental income being generated so it is important to build in adequate margins to cover overheads.
Where do I stand if my tenant does not pay rent owed?
The first thing to do is talk to your tenant to understand the reasons for non payment and to establish if the difficulties are short or long term. Please seek our advice if you require help and support in this area.
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