Is Your House In Order?

By its very nature letting a property carries both risk and reward. The management of a property can be challenging and time-consuming, not mentioning the everevolving property legislation.

To effectively self-manage a property one needs to be highly organised and respond to maintenance issues in a timely manner; this not only helps with the upkeep of the property but can incentivise a tenant to stay for a longer duration safe in the knowledge that they have a conscientious landlord.

There are certain things that need to be in place before letting a property out that are legal requirements. For instance an Energy Performance Certificate needs to be completed on the property before marketing commences. If there is a gas supply at the property it requires a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate which is renewable every 12 months. These are just two things that need to be in place as a minimum.

Has the property got adequate insurance? A normal owner-occupier home insurance policy will not suffice for a rental property. If your tenant has an accident in the property there will need to be public liability insurance to protect against litigation. The other things to consider are accidental and malicious damage by tenants – you may have good tenants in situ but you just never know if damage will be caused unintentionally or if a pet causes damage. It’s always worth reading the small print of your policy to see whether these type of things are covered. Belvoir is teamed up with Endsleigh to deliver landlords insurance to its clients.

Not only does the landlord’s building and contents need to be insured but it is highly recommended that protection is taken out against rent default. Do you know what would happen if your tenant stopped paying the rent? Would you know how to get vacant possession of the property in the correct legal manner?

Dealing with tenancy deposits is a big part of tenancy management. It’s essential that when taking a deposit from a tenant that it is properly protected in an approved government scheme. There can be severe penalties for landlords who don’t adhere to tenancy deposit rules. And of course there’s the potential disputes when you check tenants out at the end of tenancy.

There’s also the day-to-day housekeeping of the property to contend with. Looking after a tenant can be like babysitting: they need to be looked after and handled with kid gloves at times. If you’re managing the property yourself you can expect telephone calls at all times of the day, which could be quite inconvenient when you’re away on holiday or in an important meeting. Depending on the nature of the problem the response may need to be quick. It could be anything from tenants locking themselves out of a property to a boiler breakdown to a flood. All of these will need dealing with in the appropriate manner.

Belvoir offer a bespoke fully managed service to help with all of the above. As we have discovered there are a lot of hurdles to negotiate when letting a property out. We take all of the hassle out of the equation. If you need any advice on anything contained in this article feel free to call us on 01606 783599 or pop into the office at any time.