Tips for first-time landlords in Leeds
One of the reasons behind the purchase of a property is the desire to make a business out of it. Renting out a house or an apartment is a good source for extra money or simply a comfy solution to pay off the mortgage. Landlords should run a rental professionally, conduct a good business according to local laws and regulations.
1. What should a first-time landlord know?
Because of the lack of experience, a first–time landlord in Leeds should learn some basic tips. One of them is setting the right price for the rent. The best way to do so is to research the local market in the Leeds area.
This helps to get a good idea about the average price and how attractive it can be to tenants. If the price is too high for the location, renting the property will not be so easy.
Another great tip is to follow a tenant screening. Its main goal is to help the landlord find quality tenants, that is to say, those who pay the rent on time and take care of the property as if it belonged to them.
In order to carry out an effective tenant screening, the applications should be filtered considering criteria like the capability to pay the full rent each month, a clean record, and a good rental background.
A rental application is another tool that a landlord should always use. It gives quick information about the potential tenant: name, current address, income, past landlord references, the reason for moving, etc.
Asking the right questions and getting the information required will be very helpful in selecting the best candidate. A credit and background check is very similar to a rental application system. In this case, the landlord will be able to verify whether the potential tenant is financially responsible or not.
Undue payments, previous evictions, notable debts, etc. are all warning signs. On the contrary, a credit check with a solid financial history indicates that the tenant will be more likely to pay the rent on time.
Having a written rental agreement is probably one of the most important tips a first–time landlord should take into consideration. Why so? Unlike oral agreements which are not always valid, a written document is the best way to protect oneself in legal situations and it clearly indicates what the landlord’s expectations are (the specific amount to be paid in advance as deposit, whether pets are allowed or not, whether a fee should be paid in case the rent is late, noise restriction rules, etc.).
If there is no written document, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to prove what was agreed upon between the parties. Needless to say that all rules and clauses contained in the rental agreement must adhere to local laws.
2. Learn how to manage the property properly
Choosing to rent a property and making a business out of it can be stressful, yet very rewarding. There are a few simple steps that should be followed in order to get the best out of this experience.
Owning the property and make it rentable is the first stage. Giving it a good repair makes it more attractive to tenants and increases its value. As mentioned above, setting the rental price and the landlord’s expectations come next.
If these two are missing, renting a house/apartment might become a nightmare. The following step is to rent the property (this phase starts with advertising, finding the ideal tenants, and ends with the rental agreement).
Another step to managing the property efficiently is to check it and run the maintenance. Doing rental walkthroughs once or twice a year has its benefits: the landlord and tenants can check that everything in the property is working well and communication between both parties is kept open. At the same time, a walkthrough will help the landlord check on the property’s status and prevent the tenants from causing damage.
In regard to maintenance, every house needs some regular repairs and in order for it to be effective while tenants are living in the property, having a list of reliable local contractors, a specific budget for maintenance, etc., will be very helpful. The final step is collecting the rent.
3. Why use a local letting agent
Local Letting agents are able to reach out to a vaster part of the population, whereas this was more complicated when the internet was not part of every day’s life as it is today. Renting a property is now an automatized process that significantly cuts the time that was needed in the past. With a passion for students and property, we have years of experience in the local letting properties, and we are fully prepared to advise on any of your buying or letting needs!
4. Make a property inventory
In order to avoid problems and complications at the end of the tenancy, a property inventory should be made when the tenancy starts. In order to do so, the landlord should indicate the contents in each room of the property, check the inventory form with the tenants, and go through the form again once the tenancy is over.
5. Get a property insurance
Owning a property means taking care of it. The best way to protect it from internal and external factors is getting a property insurance. This covers it against natural or disasters caused by man, it compensates for temporary living expenses (for example, when the property is inhabitable due to severe damage), compensation for damage or loss of assets, etc. Nowadays, a property should always be insured.
Managing a rental property should be deemed as a real business. Running a house/apartment, search for potential tenants, do a screening, gather the required documents, collect the rent are all important and necessary steps. The one and only goal are to manage a rental property without stress, as effectively as possible, and hassle-free. Studying the local housing market, understanding laws and regulations will definitely enhance this experience.