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What You Need To Consider
Before you make the decision to become a landlord there are several important factors that you must take into consideration, some of these include.
Mortgage Permission & Insurance
It is vital that if you have a mortgage on the property that you seek advice from your lender. Some mortgage lenders unfortunately do not allow you to let out your property and others may have certain restrictions, therefore you must thoroughly check your contract or speak to them directly. Before we can advertise your property to let we will need a “Permission to let” letter from your lender.
It is also vital that if you have insurance cover on the property (particularly Buildings & Contents) that you inform them that you will not be living there and it will be tenanted as this may effect your insurance policy.
Safety Regulations & Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Gas Safety Certificate – If the property has a gas supply you MUST provide us with a Gas Safety Certificate. These are valid for 12 months and once it has expired it must be retested and another certificate provided.
Electrical Safety Record- to ensure that all our landlords keep within the building regulations and no tenant is ever placed in a property that falls short of the requirements, Belvoir stipulate that an Electric Safety Check is completed every 3 - 5 years. A newly built property will have a recent electric installation certificate in which case the Belvoir requirement is that the Electric safety check is conducted after 12 months.
Furniture & Furnishing - The Government first introduced Regulations in 1988 requiring filling material used in furniture, furnishings and re-upholstered items to be fire resistant. Subsequent amendments to the original legislation now make it a requirement for any furniture and furnishings supplied in a property let for the first time since 1st March 1993 to meet such standards and to carry the appropriate label.
EPC - The Government introduced a grading system that will be required to indicate a property’s “green energy saving credentials”. Every property that is marketed to let in England and Wales, requires an EPC. An EPC is issued by a qualified energy assessor. The main purpose of an EPC is to provide an energy rating for each rented property and highlight how a property can be altered to become more energy efficient and thus assist in the Government’s efforts to reduce global warming.
Resident Landlord (Living in the UK) - If you are a landlord living in the UK you will need to carry out a self assessment and return this directly to the Inland Revenue at the end of every tax year. We can supply an annual statement of the rental income you have received if necessary to help you with the self assessment (charges will apply).
Non Resident Landlord (Living overseas) – If you are living overseas you will need to fill out a NRL1 form (available on the Inland Revenue website) and send it to the Inland Revenue. Once they have received and approved this they will then send us a Tax Exemption Form (NRL8) (that is linked directly to Belvoir Lincoln. Therefore, if you change letting agent etc you will have to apply for a new form), if we do not get this we legally have to deducted 20% of the net rental income.
We advise you seek personal advice from the Inland Revenue prior to becoming a landlord.
Making sure you have a sufficient contingency fund in place will be extremely helpful for any maintenance issues that need repairing. It not onlyreduces the risk of having to fork out all of the money in one go but will also keep your tenant happyif they don't have to wait for a repair - especially if it is their boiler. A happy tenant usually means a long term tenant!
Types of Tenants
You will need to decide what type of tenants you would be happy to accept at the property before you put it on the market for rental (families, professionals, students etc). First of all, if you have a mortgage or insurance on the property you will need to thoroughly check your policy/contract as some may have restrictions on who you are allowed to let to (e.g. students).
A large part of the UK population has a pet (or two!) as part of their family. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of allowing a pet of the property. Allowing pets will widen your market for potential tenants. However we understand the concerns you may have as a landlord accepting pets at the property, one of the main concerns is pet damage. Every tenant has to pay a deposit which will be in place to cover any dilapidations at the end of the tenancy inc pet damage we also ask that the tenants get the carpets professionally cleaned and pet sanitized when they move out. At Belvoir we carry out property inspections (approx. every 4 months) to check its condition, we also offer a Buildings and Contents insurance policy which includes cover for pet damage.