Top tips for landlords

Tuesday 11th June 2013

To ensure that new landlords are aware of their obligations before entering the buy-to-let market, the following advice has been published by Richard Blanco, Representative at the National Landlords Association.

1. Choose Your target market
Before buying a property, speak to local landlords and letting agents about the rental demand in the area. Then, when it comes to buying, start with a property in an area you know well and can access easily from home.

2. Buy a property where you can add value
It’s important to consider return on investment, capital appreciation and rental yield. In order to gain the best capital appreciation you need to buy the property at a good price and in a state in which you can add value. And you’ll need to set a competitive rent that offers a positive rental yield.

3. Become a member of a professional landlords’ organisation
There are now over 50 Acts of Parliament and more than 70 sets of regulations governing the private-rented sector. Even experienced landlords come across new challenges. For advice and guidance, become a member of a landlords association such as the NLA.

4. Build a reliable team around you
Landlords rely on their team of maintenance and business contacts, often at short notice. To find reliable maintenance contacts, ask local landlords and letting agents for their recommendations.

5. The NLA

For reliable business contacts such as mortgage advisers and solicitors, visit NLA Services and NLA Recognised Suppliers. There are discounts for NLA Members.

6. Become an accredited landlord
Accreditation offers landlords the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to be successful. NLA Accreditation requires landlords to commit to continued professional development. This commitment to professional standards offers landlords a stamp of approval which helps tenants identify reliable landlords.

7. Vet tenants
Carry out background checks to confirm potential tenants are in a position to meet their rental commitment. NLA Tenant Check checks potential tenants against a range of criteria. It’s important to get the right tenant for the property.

8. Use the right paperwork
Ensure both parties sign a proper tenancy agreement, usually an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement. This will outline the length of the tenancy, amount of rent and when it is to be paid and will provide legal protection for both parties. Landlords must also issue a detailed inventory which is signed and dated by both parties. This could help if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy. And landlords should also take a deposit. By law, all deposits must be protected in a government-approved scheme such as my|deposits.

9. Nurture tenant relationships
Meeting tenants in person is essential to establishing a positive relationship form the start. It’s important to establish a friendly yet business-like rapport. In addition, providing good customer service is vital; always ensure repairs are carried out promptly.

10. Avoid voids
Long-term voids will consume spare cash and may even cause a business to fail. Offering tenants six month or annual contracts allows landlords to plan ahead for when a tenant might move out. And discussing future plans with tenants ensures marketing and maintenance can be planned in advance of a void. 


comments powered by Disqus
Premium Articles
Sign up
Live Chat