Making the decision to become a Landlord for the first time isn’t an easy one and sieving through the various legalities surrounding residential lets can feel overwhelming.
Legislation in regards to the lettings sector is often open to interpretation and not entirely clear, often leaving Landlords inadvertently unprotected and in sticky situations they aren’t prepared for.
As experts in the industry, we endeavour to keep ourselves ahead of the game when it comes to new legislation and therefore can advise our landlords on the best ways to protect themselves.
Take a look below at the top ways we recommend that landlords protect themselves:
· Always take a security deposit (and register it with the appropriate scheme), even if you are renting the property out to friends or family. Although you may be renting your property to someone you trust, you may find that the situation changes and partners or friends move in, who you don’t know, and may not respect the property in the way you would like them to.
· Always have a schedule of condition completed by an independent clerk. Without independent, photographic evidence of the property at the start of the tenancy, it is incredibly difficult to prove any damage was not present at the beginning. If you have photographic evidence and a note of the condition (which your tenant has agreed to) then this will count in your favour if the deposit deductions end up getting independently adjudicated.
· Make sure you have a tenancy agreement in place. Although there are some statute laws in place surrounding residential lets, a lot of it is simply contract law. Therefore, if you don’t have a contract in place it can leave Landlords with fewer rights and in a much weaker position than if a reasonable contract, which both parties have agreed to, is in place.
· Reference your tenants. By completing a credit check and obtaining a financial reference it should give you some idea as to whether the tenant will be able to afford the monthly rent. By obtaining a previous Landlord or agent reference it should give you some idea of how they will look after the property.
· Pick your agent wisely. Whether you’re picking an agent just to list the property for you or if you would like them to handle the management too, it is worth checking that your agent is someone you trust with your property – after all, you’re handing over responsibility for one of your largest financial assets!
If you have any specific queries or concerns, please feel free to contact our friendly team on 01747 416 516 and we’ll be happy to help.