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Ten Things Landlords in London Need to Know

In this three-minute
read, we look at the ten most important things a landlord needs to succeed.

If you’re contemplating becoming a landlord, here’s
a helpful checklist explaining what it takes to let a property.

You may wonder why a checklist is necessary. After
all, how hard can it be? You buy a property, find a tenant, and boom, you’ve
got the whole landlord game figured out. Wrong!

The private rental sector is subject to so many
rules and regulations that even experienced landlords get caught out and make
costly mistakes.

Here’s what you need to know.

1 Legal matters
There are at least 175 laws that apply to landlords in the UK, covering
everything from evictions to electrical checks. You
need to be on top of all of them. Claiming
ignorance (or that the dog ate your tenancy agreement) won’t get you off the
hook if you get caught out.

2 Record keepingIt’s
vital to maintain a clear paper trail so that if you get into a dispute, you have
evidence to support your case. If you’re the kind of person who files important
paperwork down the back of the sofa, consider getting someone to do it for
you.

3 Vigilance
No matter how nice your tenant seems to be, regular inspections are a must as
they allow you to nip problems in the bud. Lax landlords run the risk of discovering
that their property has been sub-let, trashed in a series of all-night parties or,
holy smoke, turned into a cannabis farm.

4 Take out insurance
We’re not talking about standard home and contents insurance, but specific
landlord insurance. (It’s usually a condition of buy-to-let mortgages.) Various
policies are available, ranging from top-tier versions that cover almost every
eventuality, to no-frills options.

5 People managementDealing
with people is a major part of being a landlord. Most tenants are reliable and
honest, but some, unfortunately, can be infuriating. If a tenant falls into the
latter category, you need to remain cool-headed when dealing with them. Good
landlords make business decisions, not emotional ones.

6 MaintenanceRoutine maintenance stops minor
issues becoming major structural problems. It helps to have a network of
reliable tradespeople who you can call on when you need work done.

7 Tenant selection
Invest time at the beginning of a tenancy to find the right tenant. Never rush
the process when it comes to reference and credit checks.

8 Tax
implications
The tax rules covering rental properties have been significantly
reformed in recent years. It’s worth getting advice from an expert to ensure
you understand what you need to pay and what you can claim back.

9 Understand the marketSuccessful
landlords in London, understand the lie of the land, so that when it
comes to setting the rent, they are bang on the money. Getting the price right
means your property won’t be sitting empty for long periods.

10 Back-up
Good landlords don’t blunder their way through – they have back-up in the form
of a reputable letting agent. If you want support dealing with complicated
legislation, handling problematic tenants and managing day-to-day admin and
maintenance, get yourself a good letting agent. Remember, mistakes can be
costly.

Here at Holland Properties, we can help you to become
a successful landlord and to see healthy returns on your property investment.

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