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logoHow to be a good Landlord



If you've been smart or just plain lucky during the housing boom and are in the enviable position of owning one or more buy-to-let properties, its time to think about just how good a landlord you are. With a general wobble in the housing market and supply seeming to outstrip demand, the rental market has begun to look somewhat shaky. As a landlord, you now need to be a good one, because tenants can afford to be choosey.


So How Can you Be one of the better Landlords?


  • If you haven't taken out a buy-to-let mortgage, make sure your mortgage lender knows that you're letting the property.
  • If the property is leasehold, get permission from the freeholder to let it out.
  • If rented as a furnished property, make sure the furnishings comply with the latest fire and safety regulations.
  • Make sure gas and electrical appliances have been checked for safety by the relevantly qualified personnel.
  • Ensure the property is up to spec, i.e. everything functions as it should and the property is in good condition.
  • Have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement drawn up so you can hold the tenant's deposit.
  • Join a landlord's association, such as the National Landlords Association or a local authority run landlord accreditation scheme.

Implementing the above pointers could be expensive, but would be a sound investment if they ensure that your property remains occupied. In addition to the above, you must carry out security and credit checks on any potential tenants to verify that they are who they say they are, and that they can afford to pay the rent. Also remember that it is up to you as the landlord to ensure the tenant knows how everything works and you must respect their rights. For example you cannot enter the property without their permission or when they are not there.So, should you get an agent to manage the property or should you manage it yourself? The answer to that question is really a matter of time; if you have the time to be available all of the time, then you should do it yourself. Agents are generally good at getting tenants into the property and then tend to lose interest in the ongoing management of the property, so your tenants could end up with a poor service. On the plus side, thanks to growing competition, management fees are falling; 10-15% used to be the standard but it is now possible to secure a deal for as little as 8%, although some agencies still charge a flat fee.