A Guide to Letting Your Residential Property
When it comes to letting out a residential property, there are a lot of responsibilities, challenges, issues and obligations which you must take into consideration in order to be a good landlord.
If you have been thinking, how do I let my house online but have never done it before, then it can be daunting. Here is our helpful guide with information, tips, guidance and advice on letting out a residential property.
Check Your Mortgage
One of the first things you will need to do is speak to your mortgage lender and let them know that you have the intention of letting your property out. Some mortgages contain clauses which don’t allow homeowners to let on the existing mortgage, whilst others will grant ‘consent to let’ if you give them notification. There are instances where you may incur a fee, or the lender will make an adjustment to your current interest rate. Some mortgages can also have terms which specify the types of tenancies that they permit.
How Much Can You Rent the Property For?
Deciding how much to charge is an important thing to consider as too low and you can be missing out financially but making it too expensive will attract less tenants. Take into consideration the property’s size, location, facilities and look online to see how much similar properties in your area are being let for. There are also handy online tools that can help to calculate an accurate price for what rent you should be charging.
Consider Your Tax
Rental income is a taxable income so you will need to inform HM Revenue and Customs as you may be liable to pay tax via self-assessment. There is also the chance that this affects how much Capital Gains Tax you are required to pay when you sell the property which is something to consider as this can determine whether or not it makes financial sense to let out the property.
What Needs to be Done to the Property?
It is important to take a good, objective look at your property from the perspective of a tenant. Maybe seek the opinion of an honest friend or family member that can do a walk through with you and take a look at areas that might need work, such as;
- Clutter can make the place feel smaller, look messier and is generally unappealing for tenants who want enough space for their own things. Be sure to remove any unnecessary items, nick knacks, personal belongings, photos or bulky furniture to create a clear, welcoming space.
- Electrics, phone lines, Wi-Fi and TV aerials etc are in good working order.
- All the property’s appliances are serviced, in working condition and come with manuals where possible with instructions on how to use.
- The exterior is important but often forgotten so ensure that it looks good by trimming the hedges, mowing the grass and that pathways and driveways are clear and clean.
Know Your Legal Responsibilities
There are a number of legislations applicable to landlords that you will need to adhere to before you let out your property and during the tenancy. It is your responsibility to make sure that you educate yourself on what they are and take every step needed to fulfil your legal obligations, ensure your property is fit for purpose and keep your tenants safe.
Take Out Insurance
Specialised rental insurance, landlord insurance or buy to let insurance will help to cover the building and any contents that you leave. Even if the home is unfurnished, you still need protection for things such as the flooring, carpet, white goods, curtains and so on. Make sure that you get the right protection which covers things such as accidents or injury to the tenants and visitors as well as accidental damage to the property otherwise any claims you make might be invalid.
Get Professional Help
Being a landlord isn’t for everyone and can be very daunting, but there are options out there if you decide property management isn’t for you. Enlisting the services of a dedicated property manager is a great way to lessen the burden and have an expert on hand who can take care of everything for you.