Harpenden letting agent’s top 10 tips for ‘accidental’ landlords

Ryan Green, Head of Letting, Savills, Harpenden

Ryan Green, Head of Letting, Savills, Harpenden - Credit: Archant

Becoming a landlord can require some getting used to, particularly if it wasn’t entirely your choice.

If, for example, you’ve inherited a home or found yourself letting a property you used to live in, Ryan Green, Head of Lettings for Savills in Harpenden, has some top tips.

1. Check that your mortgage will actually allow you to let your property out – some have clauses which don’t allow you to let.

2. Think about how long you want to let your property out for. Keep in mind that most corporate tenants want to rent for a minimum of two to three years.

3. If you are a landlord thinking of only letting out for six to twelve months, you may want to price your property more competitively to secure a tenant quickly and thus avoid lengthy void periods.

4. Think about your tax position. It is important to understand how much tax you are going to have to pay and whether letting the property out makes financial sense - this is particularly relevant for those accidental landlords who may only be letting in the short-term.

5. Look at your property objectively and think what work may need to be done. Rooms are likely to need to be de-cluttered and re-painted as a minimum.

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6. Investigate options for specialist landlord insurance.

7. There are a number of safety tests including a Portable Appliance Test and Electrical Installation Condition Report (electrical safety tests) and Gas Safety test which will need to be undertaken and there may be a requirement for further work if these fail.

8. There may also be a requirement for a professional clean and for an independent inventory to be undertaken.

9. The lettings industry is fast-paced, so be prepared to act quickly.

10. Choose your letting agent carefully - as members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) our clients are safe in the knowledge that we have Client Money Protection.