Whether you’re letting out your first property or your fifth, there will always be new things to learn and improvements to be made for both you and your tenants. For new landlords, starting out with a thorough understanding of the market climate and how to navigate it will help you get the best out of your property, so we’ve compiled a list of top tips every new landlord should consider.
Do your research
The hare didn’t win the race because they rushed ahead with no strategy or planning, start with more of a tortoise approach and take some time to think about what it means to be a good investor. Research your property, work out the metrics, learn more about the lettings market and consider which properties make the most sense as buy-to-let investments. Decisions driven by knowledge will take you much further than decisions driven by money.
Be aware of your property’s value
Make sure you’re not undercharging for everything your property has to offer by staying updated on the local market and checking on nearby listings to see how their prices compare. Price rises are often due to demand for the location, so your property’s value could be continuously growing without your knowledge.
Make your rules clear
Once you’ve found your new tenants, protecting the condition of your property remains your responsibility as well as theirs. It’s important that you are succinct and vocal about your conditions and standards. Miscommunication is a large driving factor behind most disputes between landlords and tenants, so it’s important your tenants know exactly what is expected of them.
To ensure that your standards are always maintained, it’s important to run routine check-ups. Your tenants should expect to hear from you on a regular basis so that they aren’t letting their good standards slip. It’s also reassuring for the tenants to know that you are keeping an eye on things and are available for any help they may need.
Run a background check
It is essential that you run a background check on any potential tenants. Checking someone’s criminal background can give you a good idea of whether the individual has a stable home life, and if they’re able to commit to a long-term lease. Invest your time into using online resources for a full background check, or even get in touch with previous landlords to gage how successful their last tenancy was.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple way of knowing how well someone will look after your property until they are living in it. There’s also no way of seeing into the future and every property is likely to need maintenance or experience null periods at some point. Insurance is the best possible safety-net for your property in case anything goes wrong.
Set aside some money for emergency funds
It’s important to always be prepared for any hiccups, so you’ll need to think ahead and set aside some emergency savings. When budgeting its paramount to consider all of your personal monthly payments and how to cover them for periods where extra costs are needed elsewhere. For example, if your property unexpectedly becomes vacant for a short period, you should have enough money in your emergency funds to cover mortgage payments temporarily without rental income.
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