Thanks to the recent economic climate it has become much more difficult to secure mortgage agreements with banks and as a result, the number of people buying homes has decreased. Young people having recently left education and making their own way in the world have found themselves in a position in which banks will not lend them the money to get onto the property ladder as they are seen as a high risk.
Of course, as fewer and fewer people are making their way onto the property ladder, more people are turning to renting as the only option and if you own property then letting the home and becoming a landlord can be a great decision.
The decision to let property and become a landlord can bring in extra money but it also comes with a range of responsibilities and duties that you must legally adhere to. If you’re new to the world of tenants and landlords or if you’re considering it as an option, it’s essential that you’re aware of all of the responsibilities that come with the territory:
As a landlord it’s your responsibility to ensure that your property is a safe living environment for your tenants. You must ensure that:
– Gas and electrical appliances are in good condition which includes annual safety checks
– There is satisfactory heating and ventilation facilities
– Tenants have access to a supply of safe drinking water
– All furniture and fittings are in accordance with fire safety regulations
– Drains and guttering are in full working order
Remember: the maintenance and repairs of the property exterior is your responsibility, not the tenants’.
Deposits and Rent
Money, of course, is a large factor in tenant-landlord relationships so you should be fully aware of all the regulations surrounding it.
By law you must put your tenants’ deposit or deposits into a deposit protection scheme; if you work with a letting agent then this will often be dealt with through them. However, if you are operating independently then you will have to arrange an independent protection scheme.
Taking out landlord’s insurance isn’t a legal obligation but it’s an extremely good idea to do so. Many new landlords will opt for normal household insurance as it is usually cheaper but this will not offer you the same cover as landlord’s insurance.
You should always shop around for the best deal when it comes to insurance but the cheapest option, is not always the best choice. Be sure to know exactly what is covered in your insurance so you can sleep safe in the knowledge that you’ll be covered if something should go wrong.
If you’ve recently become a landlord or you’re considering doing so, it’s vital that you do your research and fully understand your obligations before taking on any tenants or entering into a contract. As a landlord you have both responsibilities and rights; be sure to be aware of each and you’ll find everything much simpler.