Being a landlord is often stressful – there is a large amount expected of you and little time in which to do it, and so you could find yourself struggling every now and again.
However, there is no need to worry if you become stuck, as there are a number of ways you can get help, advice and information that will make managing your property portfolio easier and enable you to relax in the knowledge that you have a sort of safety net.
So here are our top four ways to get support as a landlord:
Your local council
If you are unsure about your rights as a landlord, the legislations you need to adhere to, or how to handle a difficult situation, then your first stop should always be your local council.
Around a decade ago, local councils had very little to do with the private rental sector. However, due to the housing crisis, they are becoming more involved each and every day, meaning that yours should be happy to help you should you need it.
When you first decide to invest in a buy-to-let property, it would be a great idea to try and meet the local council first, that way you can find out what is going on in the neighbourhood and establish a good relationship for the future. Becoming involved in the local community is a great way for landlords to stay one step ahead of the housing industry, and will also give you invaluable knowledge about the general concerns of the community and what may happen there in the future.
It used to be that private rental accommodation was more popular is some areas of the country than others – particularly cities and towns where there are universities.
However, as so many people are now struggling to afford a deposit for a mortgage, private rental housing is available in most towns across the UK, which has also led to a massive increase in the amount of landlords in each area.
As a landlord this can be really beneficial, as it means that it is easy to find others in your area that you can network with and discuss any changes to the market.
Furthermore, if you are in an area where most of the landlords only own a few properties each then you can share advice and your knowledge of your industry, that way you can all become better landlords and improve the private rental sector in your area.
There are a number of associations and bodies that you can contact as a landlord that can offer help and advice, especially when it comes to difficult things like legal issues.
Your landlord insurance provider is always good to talk to if you are worried about your tenants, damages to your property or the legislation you are legally obliged to adhere to as a landlord.
However, you can also talk to groups such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) or one that just focuses on your local area or county.
If you have a legal issue, the first person you should talk to is your solicitor, especially if you are planning to evict your tenants or are concerned about your legal rights as a landlord.
If you need help when it comes to managing your property portfolio, then it may be a good idea to invest in a letting agent, who will be able to manage everything for you, such as placing your deposits in a registered deposit protection scheme, and drawing up your tenancy agreements and inventories for each of your properties.
While not all landlords will have the time to visit their local council or attend meetings with other landlords, everyone is able to spend some time keeping up with the industry by reading property articles online or in newspapers. Check Landlord News for the latest updates.
Local newspapers are also a great source of information, as it shows the concerns of those that are living in the area that your properties are based, such as crime and traffic.
Knowing about these issues is extremely important as it could help you answer any difficult questions potential tenants may have.
Sometimes, landlords can feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, especially now there is so much demand for private rental accommodation.
However, as you can see there are plenty of ways to get support, so you can relax and know that your business is in safe hands.