Becoming a private landlord can be an incredibly rewarding decision, however it’s fair to say that there’s quite a lot you need to do to be a success. This can be particularly challenging if you’re new to private landlord lettings and are lacking in experience. For example if you’re considering buying your first buy-to-let property, or if you’re an accidental landlord who has inherited a property, or even if you have flats or houses you’re struggling to sell. To help you with your decision making, we will look at the pros and cons of becoming a private landlord and what you need to do if you feel this might be the right move for you.
First and foremost, one of the biggest positives to being a private landlord is the fact you can get a decent return on your property each month to cover the mortgage and potentially make you a profit. What’s more, you also have something to fall back on in the future as you can sell your properties or even move back into it at a later time. Another big positive is the fact that with the right tenants, you can rest assured your property is in the hands of people who will look after it. You can also take satisfaction in knowing that you’re providing accommodation for those who need it.
The negatives to be aware of as a private landlord can be if you’re struggling to find suitable tenants, as you might end up out of pocket having to pay for the mortgage by yourself. Equally there’s the matter of having to pay for any repairs you may have to make. A big issue you might have to deal with as well is finding the time to get your property ready to go on the market and indeed your general property management itself. Once again, an accidental landlord might particularly struggle here, especially if you’re trying to balance your work life, personal life and your property.
WHAT ASPECTS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER
On the subject of your property management, as previously mentioned, will cover a wide range of different areas, these include:
• Making sure you have the rights to let your property, this means you might need to speak with your mortgage provider
• Having the right insurance in place
• Deciding whether or not your property will be part, fully or unfurnished and if you do have furniture, that it meets health and safety regulations
• Creating adverts for your property, marketing it and showing people around
• Making sure your property is fit to be let, free from health hazards and has certified gas and electricity safety certificates
• Providing tenants with an energy performance certificate (EPC)
• Drawing up contracts, making these official and creating tenancy agreements that clearly outline the responsibilities of you and your tenants
• Carrying out thorough tenant referencing to ensure they’re who they say they are, reduce the risk to your property and make sure they can afford the rental payments – protecting you financially
• Putting your tenants’ deposits in a recognised deposit protection scheme
• Keeping in contact with tenants during their tenure and sorting out any issues or problems they may have
USEFUL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TOOLS
The above might seem like a lot to take in but there are helpful websites available for private landlords like GOV.uk and Shelter where you can find further detail regarding some of the above points. There’s also the option to use the services of a letting agent to manage some of these aspects on your behalf; although this will mean paying for the privilege. Another alternative to consider is the new Rentr DIY lettings app which is specifically designed for private landlords. From your smartphone or tablet you can find several property management tools that are quick and easy to use. With Rentr you can:
• Create advertisements and market these on several websites at once
• Book viewings on your property when it suits you
• Directly message tenants and receive feedback on your property and service
• Get up-to-date information on the status of your tenant referencing
• Record your details for tenant deposits
• Draw up and electronically sign contracts.
You can also contact tenants through the app and other landlords can share tips and advice with you. The obvious benefit of this app is you get all these features you’d get from a letting agent but without the cost.
At the end of the day the decision is yours alone to make, but with the right advice and guidance there’s nothing to stop you from being a successful private landlord.
If you do take the plunge, then be sure to take on board some of this advice and consider using Rentr to make your property management more efficient and straightforward.