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Does your agent offer you sufficient legal and financial protection?
Despite the media perception of landlords as extremely wealthy, those of us who truly understand the industry know better. The average landlord is likely to have a small number of properties, bought over many years of hard work. In most cases, buying a property represents the most valuable asset one will ever own, and as a result most people would expect a high standard of care to be taken over it.
Landlords often choose to either let the properties directly, or to allow an agent such as Belvoir to find a suitable tenant, and then manage the property themselves. Whilst this is entirely legal and possible to do, the scope of the responsibility it entails is often not appreciated. The legal requirements for landlords are increasing at an unprecedented rate. Most recently, a change to the legal requirement for fire and smoke detectors was imposed with only 8 days notice!
For anyone who is not managing their properties on a full-time basis it can be exceedingly difficult to keep himself or herself on the right side of the law. There are now over 100 laws applicable to anyone who is renting property; with even more for those renting HMOs and the penalties if something should go wrong can include large fines and custodial sentences. Belvoir can help keep you ahead of these pitfalls with our industry-leading legal team who are on call 24 hours a day to support the local agent who is taking care of your property.
Perhaps you have already got a letting agent who is looking after your property. No doubt you would expect that they were taking excellent care of that most valuable asset, so ask them about:
- Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) enforcement guidance
- Do they understand it and how do they ensure you are complying as a landlord?
- The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulation 2015.
- The statutory obligations of a landlord as to property condition (including rights of way and common areas).
The list could go on and on! If your agent does not know these regulations, (or in many cases even what you are talking about), then come to Belvoir West Bridgford where our expert team constantly update their knowledge of the local market, backed by our award winning national team.
Perhaps you have a good agent who does know the regulations and has done a good job of keeping you out of trouble. But when they offered to let your property did they ask if you had any children? If that seems like a strange question to ask then consider what impact your letting income could have on your Child Tax Credit eligibility. Did they ask what your objectives were for the property in terms of Capital Growth or Net Income? Are you aware that from 2017 it could become more expensive to rent your property out? Belvoir West Bridgford look beyond the obvious questions to tailor a service to you that ensures maximum return on your investment.
There are many other issues we could go into: what type of tenant do you want? Have you considered what would happen if a joint owner of the property passed away? How will you plan to exit your investment with the minimum legal tax liability?
Belvoir look beyond the obvious questions, because we know that every landlord is different. That’s personal service. That’s Belvoir.