While many see buy-to-let as a lucrative investment opportunity, others find themselves in the role of landlord by accident. Here we have some tips on how to transform your home into a rental property.
You may have decided to rent out a property for a variety of reasons: the property may be inherited or you could have struggled to sell it for a good price. Whatever the reason, becoming a landlord can be a great idea.
However, you must be aware of the long-term commitments of owning a rental property. If you take on a tenant, you will usually let to them for six to 12 months, so you must make a definite decision that being a landlord is something you want to do.
Before you find a tenant, the property must be in the right shape. If it is your own home or a family home, try to emotionally detach yourself as much as possible. This can be difficult, but you must remember to look at the property through the eyes of the tenant.
Consider the décor: Are the carpets old-fashioned? Is the wallpaper too bright? Are the appliances old? It is important to ensure that a tenant can feel at home in your property, so neutral interiors and modern appliances are always safe options.
Although you might like the house as it is, remember that tenants will have their own belongings, so removing pictures and ornaments is advised.
Additionally, you must make sure that all gas and electrical items and appliances are checked and have the relevant safety certificates. We have the latest guidance on complying with these laws here: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/gas-fire-and-electrical-safety-responsibilities/
You must also think about the safety of your tenants in other areas too; are the house/flat and garden safe for children and pets? Take a look around with a critical eye to ensure that your tenants will be comfortable and secure in their new home.
With legislation in the private rental sector changing all the time, it can be wise to find a good letting agent to take control of your requirements for you. They will give you all of the necessary advice on bringing the property up to a good standard and will ensure you stick to the law.
Letting agents can find tenants for you, organise references, inventories and viewings, and collect rents and deposits. Additionally, they can sort out maintenance issues and visit the property periodically.
If you do not feel able to complete these responsibilities, letting agents will get the job done. However, we do have a series of guidelines to help you in your role as a landlord: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/guidelines/
With so many things to think about, you should always remember to protect your property.
Our Landlord Property Insurance will cover you against a host of different situations, such as flooding, malicious damage by the tenant and unauthorised alteration.
If your tenants find themselves in financial difficulty and cannot pay the rent, Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses Insurance will cover your rent payments and any legal expenses you may suffer when evicting tenants.
And while rental demand is high, sometimes it is difficult to find tenants or you may be decorating in between tenants. For this, we have Unoccupied Property Insurance, which protects your investment while it is empty.
If you are taking on the role of landlord in the near future, we wish you good luck!