Thu 01 Oct 2020
Letting your property out for the first time can seem daunting, especially with stricter regulations in place to counteract the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, landlords are still enjoying strong demand from tenants as they search for their next home before the festive season kicks in.
This increased appetite from prospective renters means more competition for rental property, allowing landlords to let quicker and for a higher rental price.
New landlords entering the market will need to prepare thoroughly to meet this growing demand. Below, using our experience as letting agents operating across Kent, we have compiled a list of top considerations new landlords should be making.
Before you become a landlord, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting into, so it’s wise to read around the subject a bit.
The Private Rented Sector (PRS) and buy-to-let are terms you’ll hear a lot, and there is plenty of good information out there to help you think like a landlord. There are a number of excellent books, online resources and blogs to help you along, as well as advice from your local letting agent.
Begin your search for tenants
Once you have decided that a landlord’s life is the one for you, it’s time to get some tenants into your property so you can start earning some regular rental income.
You will need to advertise your property in the right places to ensure it is being seen by as many would-be tenants as possible. Nowadays, major portals like Rightmove, OnTheMarket and Zoopla rule the roost, so ensure your ad is web-friendly.
Spruce up your rental property
Prospective tenants won’t be impressed by a home that is decrepit and unkempt. If you don’t fancy cleaning the property from head to toe yourself, you could employ the services of a cleaning company to do a thorough job, while making sure you stick to government guidelines.
You also need to decide early on what possessions you will be leaving behind for the duration of the tenancy. Take out anything of personal value or anything that won’t be useful for your tenants. Clutter, too, is always a big turn-off – tenants want to put their own stamp on the place they will call home, they don’t want this job done for them.
Put safety first
Tenant safety is of utmost importance and shouldn’t be jeopardised under any circumstances. This includes installing and maintaining a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, as well as making sure all white goods, electrical equipment and plug points are adhering to safety guidelines.
In light of Covid, you must also ensure that your rental property is well-ventilated by opening all doors, and clean surfaces often. All viewings must also be on an appointment-only basis, and all parties involved in the moving process must wash their hands thoroughly and regularly.
Keep on top of maintenance
Even once you have occupied your property, the responsibility doesn’t stop there. While tenants will appreciate privacy and a good degree of trust from their landlord, they won’t appreciate you leaving the property to fall into disrepair.
They will want those little DIY jobs and repairs to be carried out as quickly as possible and will want to know that their landlord is easily reachable should emergencies arise.
Maintaining your rental property won’t only give you peace of mind, it will also ensure a high quality of living for your renters. Also, if tenants leave and need to be replaced, you’ll be much less likely to encounter long void periods if your property is in good condition.
Provide an EPC
Before they move in, tenants should be given an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), giving them a clear indication of how energy efficient your rental property is.
Keep in mind, though, that as of April 1 2020, rental properties have been required to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’.
As a landlord, you should consider future changes to energy efficiency legislation, with speculation that the government could raise the minimum energy rating to ‘D’ in 2025, and to ‘C’ in 2030.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to being a landlord – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. However, hiring a professional letting agent can take away much of the stress and hassle from renting out and then running a property.
Here at Eden Estates, we can guide you through your lettings journey while sticking to government guidelines to ensure a smooth and safe tenancy. For more information on becoming a landlord and the services we offer, please contact us today.
We also provide a free, instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much rent you can be charging each month.