The UK rental market has shown incredible resilience over the course of lockdown, with the government’s announcement of its stamp duty holiday causing a surge in activity from buy-to-let investors.
Whether it’s your first time letting a property or you’re already an established landlord, we’ve outlined the five essentials steps you need to take to fulfil your obligations and provide quality housing for your tenants.
Inform your lender
If you haven't already been granted permission from your mortgage provider to let your property, you'll need to inform them as they may impose conditions or actions for you to complete.
It's also a good idea to update any existing insurance policies, as specific landlord cover will give you more security should anything go wrong during the tenancy, whilst protecting you when the property's left empty for longer periods of time.
Get your home tenant-ready
From simple tasks like cleaning your property to meeting industry requirements, it's crucial to get your property tenant-ready.
If you have selected a fully-managed package, your lettings agency should take care of items like your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), gas and electrical safety certification, and inventory for you.
With legislation constantly changing, a fully-managed service ensures your compliance, with these items routinely reviewed and made accessible to your tenants.
This year has seen the introduction of substantial changes within lettings, including for minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), mandatory electrical safety checks, and the extension of the Tenant Fees Act.
Attract suitable tenants
Void periods can be costly for landlords, with an investment of time and resources needed to find tenants that meet your short or long-term property plans and requirements.
A quick, successful let requires having a winning property marketing strategy that showcases your home's key characteristics and features – which is something we’ve honed over the years for our landlords.
Once you’ve started receiving interest from applicants, it’s important to conduct viewings and credit checks, where you’ll be able to ascertain if they're financially viable.
Safeguard your property
You stand to lose £3,000 by not having the right landlord insurance in place.
Accidental damage is one of the most expensive claims to compensate for, yet 57% of landlords don't even request it as part of their insurance package.
Here are our recommendations for the policy types that you should consider:
Landlords' insurance – first and foremost, you'll want to have a policy that cover items like buildings insurance and accidental damage.
Contents cover – this will depend on if your rental is furnished or unfurnished, with the possibility that your tenants will need prompting to organise a policy for their own possessions.
Landlords' liability – often an added extra for student or social housing, this gives you more security in the event of injury.
Rent Guarantee Insurance (RGI) – for loss of rental income during periods your property is empty or instances of rent arrears.
Home emergency cover – in emergency repair cases, this will help with costs and ensure there's a qualified tradesperson available 24/7.
Property management on a day-to-day basis
Due to COVID-19, one in nine have fallen behind on their household bills, including 1.2 million tenants on rent payments.*
The government's decision to extend the ban on evictions for another four weeks – as well as their introduction of six-month notice periods – will have significant consequences for the country's two million private landlords in the coming months.
Should your tenants face financial difficulty, we can act as the intermediary to identify a resolution and repayment scheme – where appropriate.
Contact us for more information.