Welcome to Landlords Guide
If you are with a letting agent or management company then a lot of these steps are taken care of depending on how fully managed you want to take things with your agent. At a basic level a management company will help you to find a tenant and work out the contract with the tenant.
You can take on the management of your property yourself however and save a good percentage on your monthly rental. If you go this route then there are good insurances out there, for example “rent guarantee insurance” will protect your monthly rental amount if the tenant ever stops paying for whatever reason. Let’s talk about these insurances a few steps on and take it for granted that you are looking to self manage your buy to let property.
Step 1 – Finding Tenants
There are many ways you can find tenants, the cheapest being Gumtree and then the step up from there being with Upad or Rightmove. it is important to get a good idea for rental properties in your area and provide really good pictures in the adverts as you will be competing against lots of other landlords so it it important your Ad stands out.
Step 2 – Checks & Contracts
Once you have found a suitable tenant it’s wise to perform a credit check on them just to make sure that they are not in debt and can make their monthly payments on time. Also, get referrals from previous landlords and place of work, if you can get an idea how long they have been in employment, being a trusted employee will give added peace of mind.
Do NOT overlook this step as two months into your agreement and the rent stops coming in and you’ll wish you had!
For your agreement with the tenant, head over to the LawDepot who provide Online Legal Forms which will make creating your contract a lot easier. You can choose an array of terms such as Monthly with Automatic Renewal or fixed Monthly or Yearly.
Since 2007 you cannot hold the tenants deposit in your back account, you will be required by law to have an intermediate hold the deposit for you and the tenant. There is more information on the governments website with recommended links.
Alternatively, you can offer “No Deposit Required” by getting a “Zero Deposit Bond” from Tenant Deposit. Devised to help groups that are unable to pay a lump sum deposit this insurance backed scheme brings the cost of moving home down.
This is an great product for students who will find it difficult to pay their first months rent and deposit at the same time. By using the zero deposit bond this almost halves the cost of moving in. The bond is an insurance based product which covers the landlord for damages in the same way a cash deposit would and conforms fully to government legislation surrounding tenant’s deposits.
Step 4 – Get Landlords Insurance Cover For Your Buy to Let
These insurances are optional obviously but they are probably more important than your own home insurance from the standpoint of running your own business. Being a Landlord is a business and the more eventualities you can provide solutions for the easier your job will be.
A Simple Landlords Insurance can start from around just £20 a month and will cover most of the basics.
We have provided a full summary of the most common insurances available to Landlords on separate pages.
- Landlords Emergency Insurance
- Landlords Buildings Insurance
- Landlords Contents Insurance
- Tenants Insurance
- Rent Guarantee Insurance
- Landlords Boiler Cover
Most of these insurances are similar to your own home insurance, Landlords contents insurance speaks for itself, this insures against breakages and loss of your items within the property. Tenants insurance will insure your tenants possessions within your property, this is optional but may be a good selling point.
Landlords boiler cover is essentially the same as home boiler cover although as a Landlord you will be required to have a CP12 certificate saying that your boiler has been tested and certified for the public. When you take out Landlords Boiler Cover you will be given the option to add the CP12 certificate to the policy, you don’t have to, you can get a qualified technician to provide one separately. Most of the time it makes perfect sense to have the CP12 certificate done with your yearly boiler service though.
Step 5 – Research
As with any business it is important to learn and find out all you can about being a Landlord, at some stage you will come across some kind of problem and knowing that other Landlords are out there with similar problems will not only make you feel a bit better but but should help you find solutions too. Head over to Landlord Zone one of the best forums for Landlords and share your experiences or read others.