Have you decided to become a landlord? Whether you will be renting out a property you already own or purchasing a buy to let, it’s a good idea to do some research so that you understand what will be involved. That includes understanding relevant legislation, your legal responsibilities and what will help you attract reliable tenants.

Regarding your legislative and legal responsibilities, you can find more information on the gov.uk site.

The first most important thing you need to do is ensure the property is safe. This can include health and safety inspections carried out by the council. You must also check any appliances you plan to include in the rental.

Secondly, arrange an EPC. This should be provided to each new tenant who rents your property. It’s also a good idea to take meter readings before every new tenant moves in and once, they move out.

Now it’s time to think about your maintenance responsibilities as a landlord.

It is important you keep your property in good condition. This not only makes it more appealing to potential tenants but keeping on top of maintenance will save you time and money in the long run.

Repairs you will be responsible (unless otherwise agreed) for include:

  • Structural repairs
  • Boiler and heating systems
  • Repairs to sanitary wear including sinks, baths and toilets etc.
  • Any serious damage to the property
  • Communal areas if it’s a flat

Another question you might have is should you use an agent?

Rental agents often provide a range of services from hosting viewings and advertising a property to a full management package.

Obviously, the more service you have, the more it’s going to cost. However, it’s very important you consider everything you are taking on if you choose to manage the property yourself. It can be incredibly timely.

Choosing to go with an agent can also be preferable if you’re a first-time landlord. They can help guide you through the process and make you aware of everything you need to do. Their experience can be invaluable.

It can also alleviate the challenges of checking your tenants references, their right to rent in the UK and protecting their deposit money.