What Do New Landlords Need to Know?Written By PropertyLoop February 19, 2021
Being a landlord involves a lot more than painting your flat every couple of years and checking your tenants pay you on the dot every month. Ah, if only it really were that simple…
No, there’s a lot more to it than that and at times it can seem quite confusing – especially when it comes down to all the legal jargon and deadlines. It can also land you in hot water with the courts if you don’t follow through on your landlord duties so it’s a good idea to sit down and read up on what exactly you are responsible for as a landlord.
Have a read through the salient points of the new Landlord and Tenant Act, for instance. Introduced last year, it lets you know what you can, and can’t, charge tenants for, amongst other things.
- What Are the Legal Responsibilities of the Landlord?
- What Are the Right to Rent Checks?
- Who Is Responsible for Gas Safety Check?
- Tenancy Deposit
- HMO Licence
- Property Access
- Smoke Alarm
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Best Place to Invest in Property in London
- Long Term Rental or Short Let Airbnb?
- Raising Your Tenant’s Rent
- Choosing a Letting Agent
What Are the Legal Responsibilities of the Landlord?
You could be fined – or worse, land in jail – if you don’t carry out the following when renting out your property:
What Are the Right to Rent Checks?
You must check a prospective tenants legal documents (ie passport, visa) to ascertain their immigration status ie that they have the right to stay in this country.
Who Is Responsible for Gas Safety Check?
This must be carried out on an annual basis with a qualified gas engineer.
Your tenant’s deposit must be paid into a government-approved scheme within 30 days and you’re your tenant informed of where and when.
Failure to apply for an HMO licence from the council can result in a huge fine and landlord ban for future properties.
You can’t just enter the property when you feel like it, but must give at least 24 hour’s notice – unless it’s an emergency repair.
There must be one on every floor and preferably a carbon monoxide detector in a room with a working fire.
Energy Performance Certificate
This must be carried out and a copy given to your new tenants as an indication as to how energy efficient your property is.
Best Place to Invest in Property in London
Cricklewood and Brent Cross in North London are currently in the throes of regeneration, while in South London the Greenwich Peninsula is currently undergoing a radical transformation. There has already been quite a bit of regeneration in Stratford in North London and it’s continuing apace. Other up-and-coming areas to look out for are Wembley, Tottenham and White City.
The South East of London has great transport links so there’s often big rental demand there. Look out for high yielding areas too, such as Bexley in South London.
Long Term Rental or Short Let Airbnb?
With a long-term rental (ie a lease of at least six months) you have the relief of knowing the mortgage will be paid for a certain length of time.
With Airbnb you can charger a higher rent for a short-term rental but if you don’t manage to rent it out constantly then you’ll have to make up for void periods. Airbnb also take 3% commission per rental.
High Street letting agencies can help with finding tenants, collecting the rent, doing reference checks, providing maintenance etc. But they will typically want 10% to 14% commission to do this.
You’ll have to pay tax on your income if you’re a landlord, with Airbnb you can earn up to £7,500 without paying tax under the government’s Rent a Room allowance. This may not be the case in future though….
Raising Your Tenant’s Rent
Putting up the rent for your current tenants isn’t an easy thing to do. But if you need the money and it’s still a reasonable London rent for the location of your flat, then why not?
This must be done legally though. And that means giving your tenants at least a month’s notice of your intention (if they are on a six-month lease). For longer leases, the notice period is three months. You could perhaps throw in a longer lease period or property improvements to try to appease them too.
Choosing a Letting Agent
You can self-manage your buy to let property, of course. But, after a while and once the novelty has worn off, it can seem like a hassle. And that’s where letting agents come in.
Just make sure the agency you choose is a member of a professional standards body, such as ARLA Propertymark. They should also be very familiar with the location and are experienced in your type of rental market.
Online letting agents, such as ourselves here at Property Loop are available out of hours and can often help show potential clients around too.
PropertyLoop is the world’s first commission free lettings platform. Our platform allows landlords to advertise their rental, reference tenants, curate an agreement, register the deposit and collect rent completely for free! There are no hidden charges, upfront fees or any catches.
Built by experienced property investors and landlords, PropertyLoop connects renters with the owners directly. Your property is featured on all major search and comparison portals as well as advertised by PropertyLoop everywhere else on the Internet. You don’t have to worry about finding the good renters, that’s the job for the platform. Receive offers straight to your mailbox and select the renters that are right for your property. Need access to busy London property market? No problem at all! PropertyLoop is the London market specialist with years of experience and unique knowledge. Whatever your needs are, you can always speak to friendly support staff. Renting property is made as simple as one, two, three.