So You Want To Be A Landlord?

Lettings photoAre you thinking of renting your property but don’t know where to start or what you should do to go about getting the property ready to accept tenants?

Bullock & Lees are here to help! Follow our guide and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Landlord!

If you have any further queries or would like to discuss marketing your property for rental with us, why not give us a call on 01202 302345 or 01202 484526 or pop into our Bournemouth or Christchurch offices and have a char with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

“How much rent should I charge?”

We advise our clients that the rents you can ask for is usually determined by three factors:

  • Supply of homes for rent and type of properties.
  • Demand in that area for rental properties.
  • Quality and size of the property and any additional features such as gardens, garages or parking.

Rent values change all the time so there is no hard and fast rule. Remember to take into account the advice of our agents when valuing the property before deciding on what rent you will charge.

“How long should it take to let my property?”

We generally have enquiries within the first 2-3 days of marketing your property. Viewings will then typically take place in the first 10-14 days. If you haven’t had an offer within three weeks, take action on one or more of the following:

  • Fix any niggling issues that might be deterring tenants.
  • Spruce up your property inside and out.
  • Consider the asking rent.

Pets“Should I allow pets in my property?”

You are under no obligation to accept a tenant with a pet so the choice is entirely yours. However, we do generally advise that you do not accept pets as this can cause problems for subsequent tenants, such as those with allergies.

“What do I need to do to prepare my property?”

Your property needs to be fit to rent from day one. That means making sure it is in good repair and all fixtures and fittings (including any white goods supplied) are in good working order and preferably freshly decorated.

You must make sure that a Gas Safety Certificate is undertaken if you have gas in your property and an Energy Performance Certificate is issued for the property. We also advise that the electrics are tested.

We do recommend that an inventory is taken. This can be either undertaken by yourself or by us. It must be checked and agreed by both you and your tenant, before being signed and dated.

“What causes condensation?”

Moisture controlAs experiences letting agents, this is an issue that we face on a regular basis. Contrary to popular belief, condensation is more often than not cause by lifestyle, rather than a problem with the property. The main reasons it might arise are:

  • Too much moisture in the air
  • Not enough ventilation

And here are some top tips on how to tackle the problem:

  • Open trickle vents and windows
  • Use extractor fans
  • Dry laundry outside when possible and open a window if drying inside
  • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes and draw back curtains every day.

For more information of condensation and mould why not read our blog post about the causes of mould and condensation.

“How do I assess damage?”

There are four issues to consider when assessing damage at the end of a tenancy:

  • Fair wear and tear
  • Betterment – in other words, you cannot use your tenant’s deposit to replace old and worn items
  • Evidence – and this is where a thorough inventory is vital
  • Average life space – after all, carpets and furnishings do have a natural ‘shelf life’.

Damaged house repairRemember that the deposit must by law be protected in one of the various Government backed schemes. We use the Deposit Protection Service and can register the deposit for you.

You may deduct money from the deposit at the end of tenancy to cover damaged or missing items. However, this is subject to strict rules laid down by Government backed deposit protection schemes. In law, the deposit remains the property of the tenant.

As long as you are making reasonable deductions, backed by evidence, then you should be confident in your assessment of damage.

“Who maintains the garden?”

It is up to you to decide who maintains the garden. However it is typically the tenant who is responsible for general maintenance so remember to include images of the garden in the inventory. This is usually covered within the Tenancy Agreement, however you may wish to include and additional clause covering this. You may want to consider:

  • Employing a gardener – the cost can often be recouped in the rent.
  • Sharing the load with your tenant – you could commit to taking care of trees and shrubs while the tenant looks after the lawn.

At the end of the day, tenants cannot be held responsible if one or more plants die.

“I live overseas, but my property is in the UK. How does this affect the tax I pay?”

If you receive rental income in the UK but you live overseas for more than six months of the year, you are classed as ‘non resident’. You are still liable for UK tax, but there can be flexibility in how the tax is paid. if you are in any doubt, seek advice from an accountant.

“Should I obtain Landlord’s Insurance?”

Yes we would strongly advise that you obtain Landlord’s Insurance. Various companies offer very good deals and we would recommend that you shop around to find the best that suits your needs.

“What makes a good investment property?”

Piggy bank houseThat is the million dollar question! Follow these top tips to give yourself the best chance of bagging a good investment property:

  • Do your homework and research the market thoroughly
  • Ensure your property will produce a steady income stream
  • Understand the running costs of owning a rental property
  • Do the maths! Be confident that you could cover any mortgage payments if the property becomes vacant.

And one final point! Consider appointing a good buying and letting agent (Bullock and Lees!) to assist you whilst buying and renting your property and to make your life a little easier, why not let us manage the letting of your property? That way you can sit back, relax and let us take care of everything!

Contact Us

Whether you want to buy, sell, rent or let a property in the Dorset area our friendly, experienced team is always on hand to help you through every step of the process.
Call us on 01202 302345.

Blog Archives