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What Does a Landlord Need to Do Before Renting
Preparing a property for a tenancy is a universal task shared by all landlords, regales of experience. Whilst after numerous years every owner will find their footing and approach getting a house ready to rent in their own way. But for new landlords beginning their journey and letting their first property, knowing what to do before renting can be somewhat daunting.
- What Do You Need to Get a House Ready to Rent?
- Carry Out Repairs
- Should You Let Furnished or Unfurnished?
- Do You Always Need an EPC?
- What Do I Need to Do Before Letting My Property?
- Do I Need a Landlord License?
- Is It Necessary to Get Landlord Insurance?
- How Much Income Do I Need to Rent a Property?
What Do You Need to Get a House Ready to Rent?
Carry Out Repairs
Perhaps this goes without saying but landlords are legally obligated to ensure that their rental property is free from any damage that would present a risk to the occupant’s health and safety. Enforced through the 2018 Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, owners must ensure that their rental property is not only free from any structural issues, infestation, damp and mould; but has adequate natural lighting, drainage, alongside access to water and heating. Further to this the act saw elaboration in 2019, allowing tenants to take action against landlords that have neglected to carry out essential repairs.
Should You Let Furnished or Unfurnished?
Where or not to furnish your rental property will have a significant impact on the tenants that you attract to the rental opportunity. Typically, full-time students, young professionals and those looking to rent their first property will exclusively seek out fully furnished accommodation; whereas a family that is looking to put their mark on the rental and make it their home will desire an unfurnished let.
Generally speaking, landlords that provide their residents with a furnished property will be able to charge a slightly higher amount in rent each month, but with this being said will also need to contend with additional insurance payments and the costs of maintaining and replacing these items between tenancies.
Do You Always Need an EPC?
Landlords are legally obligated to obtain an energy performance certificate, before presenting their rental opportunity to tenants. Energy performance certificate evaluate the energy efficiency of a property, grading how environmentally friendly it is on a scale from A to G; with A being the most efficient. Alongside this, the certificate will provide an estimation of the running costs of the rental, alongside any improvements the landlord can make to increase their property’s EPC grade. Once a landlord has obtained an EPC it will be valid for 10 years and will only need to renew before the rental is put on the market after the original certificate expires.
What Do I Need to Do Before Letting My Property?
Do I Need a Landlord License?
In order to determine if you need a landlord license, owners will need to check with their local authority. Although many councils have now introduced selective licensing schemes, the practice is not universal across the UK unless the rental property is a HMO, in which case the landlord must hold an appropriate license before letting the property.
Is It Necessary to Get Landlord Insurance?
Simply put, landlord insurance will safeguard the owner and their rental opportunity across various eventualities that would impact the tenancy. It is worth noting that although there is no legal requirement for a landlord to hold an insurance policy, a traditional residential insurance policy will not be effective when letting, alongside many buy to let mortgage providers demanding that their landlords hold valid insurance for their rental property.
Although many landlords will hold a basic building policy, protecting the structure of the rental property, owners that wish to let out a furnished opportunity will also need to consider taking out contents insurance; however, they will need to inform their tenants that their items will not be covered under the scheme.
Landlords are also able to take out specialist policies that will protect their rental income in the event that their tenants are unable to pay. However, such policies will typically protect a landlord’s income up to a certain threshold, or for an established period of time, whilst also requiring the occupants to have passed all affordability checks during the referencing process.
How Much Income Do I Need to Rent a Property?
One of the things a landlord will need to do before letting a property is calculating the returns they could see from the rental. If the rental yield an owner can expect from a rental property is insufficient then they will be left to repay any insurance premiums, buy to let mortgage payments, repair costs and management fees out of their own pocket.
Thankfully landlords are able to simply determine the rental yield of a property by taking the annual rental income of the property and dividing this by its market value; multiply this figure by 100 and you will have the rental yield as a percentage.
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