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Letting out your own home to move abroad or relocate can be a great way of testing the water first. It could be that you are looking buy an investment opportunity.
We have put together this short landlord guide for First Time Landlords covering a few key points that you need to take into account.
If you would like some advice or to have a chat with one of our specialists then call or pop into your local branch.
1. Find a property
If you don’t already own a property to rent, then it’s time to start looking. The key question is what is the best investment? With Intercounty’s expertise in sales as well as lettings we’re in a great position to advise you.
2. What help do I need?
The lettings market moves quickly. An agent probably has more time and expertise than you to handle the let. You will need to decide what level of service you require. Intercounty offers three levels of service, click for more details of our landlord services.
3. What rent should I charge?
Lettings agents can advise the rent you should charge and the potential yield you could earn from your let. There may be a number of fees to consider too, and all agents will charge differently. The most important question to ask yourself is this: which agent will be the most helpful to me as a landlord? Click to book a valuation of your rental property.
4. Make your property safe
There are lots of property regulations to keep your tenant safe. We know it’s important to you to be a responsible landlord, so make sure you are fully compliant at this early stage.
5. Find a tenant
It’s time to get your property seen by potential tenants. The internet is the single most important place to advertise your let, so be sure your agent has good online coverage and that they list properties on Rightmove and Zoopla. Prepare your property to look its best for viewings. Once you’ve found a tenant, you’ll want some reassurance that your property and rental income are safe. Knowing that your tenant has been fully referenced and credit checked gives you huge peace of mind. Intercounty can help with this.
6. Get insured
For additional security, make sure you are fully covered. Regular domestic policies often do not cover rental properties. It is also possible to insure against non-payment of rent. Ask Intercounty about rental property insurance and rent protection insurance.
7. Make an inventory
Shortly before the tenant moves in, make sure you or your agent has made an inventory of the contents of the property and its condition. Intercounty will arrange this with our letting and management service.
8. Collect the deposit and start receiving rent
You are legally required to put your tenant’s deposit in a government protected scheme. We register deposits with a scheme such as My Deposits to the benefit of both tenants and landlords. It will soon be time to collect the rent. You’ll need to decide whether you want to do this yourself, or let Intercounty take care of it.
9. Renew the contract
You’ll be surprised how quickly the initial contract passes by. As it comes to a close, it’s time to decide whether you wish to renew or terminate your contract. If you choose to terminate you must give your tenant the appropriate notice. If you (and the tenant) choose to renew, a new contract begins.
10. Property inspections
You want to know your property is being looked after. Visiting the tenants every 3-4 months to check all is ok is recommended. Depending on the level of service you have chosen, Intercounty can take care of this for you.
11. Maintaining the property
As time goes on, it’s inevitable that your property will receive some wear and tear. It’s your responsibility to maintain the property at the standard it was first let. Remember, keeping on top of small problems now could help you save large sums of money later - Intercounty's Property Management Service will arrange these day-to-day jobs.
12. Extending the tenancy
The tenancy comes to an end and it’s time for your tenant to move out. You’ll need to revisit the inventory, settle any disputes and return the deposit. Consider what to do next with your property. Is it time to sell or will you let again? If it’s the latter go back to stage 5!
But don’t forget to consider any work you need to do to the property before it returns to the market.