8 Top Tips for Landlords

1. Check Out Your Rental Potential

Before investing in a property it’s important to do your research into what sort of rates you could expect to achieve from letting it out to tenants. Ask a letting specialist to carry out an evaluation, rather than relying on the potentially biased advice of the estate agent trying to sell it to you.

2. Choose Your Agent Carefully

LandlordsAn estate agent that is a member of a professional body will have been expected to meet a certain set of standards, so not only will you be assured of a specified level of service, but you will also have an independent body to turn to if you do have cause to make a complaint. Look for the SAFE mark, which is a sign that your money will be protected if anything happens to your agent.

3. Take Good Care of Your Property

Keeping on top of the maintenance will help to retain the value of your property, but it is also a crucial part of keeping your tenants happy and safe. Local authorities now have the power to take legal action against you if your property imposes a serious hazard, and you can’t rely on your tenants to notify you of any emerging issues. Ignorance is not an excuse, so it is worth carrying out inspections of your property once or twice a year to ensure that you know what condition it’s in.

4. Protect Your Assets

Being a landlord carries a number of risks beyond the usual threats of damage to bricks and mortar. In order to protect yourself from loss of rent, legal disputes or the vulnerability of an unoccupied property, you will need to take out specialist landlord insurance cover. You can also find insurance policies to cover multiple properties or holiday homes both at home and overseas.

5. Keep Your Tenants Safe

You are required to provide an annual gas safety check to any gas appliances, and you must also keep electrical installations in proper working order so you might consider having them serviced annually as well. It is considered good practice to provide smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that your tenants are offered the best possible hazard protection while they are residing in your property.

6. Consider Your Marketing

There are a variety of ways to market your property, so it’s important to consider which one will suit you best. A letting agent can take care of all your advertising, but the service will come at a cost. It’s amazing how much you can do with social media such as facebook and twitter, but if you decide to go it alone you will need a dedicated website which must be developed and maintained.

7. Charge a Fair Rent

Any good business person will seek to maximise the profit on their investment, but over charging on your rent can leave you struggling to find tenants and losing money in the long run. You should already have an idea of what your rental value is from the evaluation you carried out before you bought, but make sure you find out what the local competition are charging and don’t price yourself out of the market. Having said that, there are a few things you can do to increase the value of your property…

8. Increase Your Property Appeal

With a few superficial changes you can make your property far more appealing to renters and can therefore justify a slightly higher rental price. First impressions really do count, so giving your property a fresh lick of paint and a thorough deep clean can make a big difference when you’re showing people round. Digital connectivity is highly desirable to modern tenants, so if your property is not in a good area for wi-fi reception consider setting up a broadband connection to sweeten the deal.

This post was written by Nicky Hand. For complete peace of mind, landlords need tailored insurance cover from a let property expert such as CIA Insurance.

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