While the statistics seem to indicate that more people are leaving London than moving into it for the first time in decades, there is still great need for homes in the capital, and with many priced off the housing ladder, becoming a landlord is still a great opportunity for many people.
Whether you have the financial wherewithal to buy additional properties to let out, or if you inherit some property you want to make use of rather than live in or let lie fallow, you should have no trouble finding people to rent it to.
We’re presenting a quick guide to making the most of this opportunity and avoiding some of the pitfalls that can afflict inexperienced or inattentive first time landlords.
Protecting Your Assets
It is to be hoped the deposit you take before your new tenants move in will be enough to cover any damage they may cause in the course of their stay. A certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable whether have the most careful, conscientious tenants you could hope for or more lackadaisical ones that can fill your life with worry.
Some things cannot be replaced, however much money you’re holdin in deposit. If the property you’re letting out used to be your family home, you may have furniture and items in there you don’t want to risk with tenants. If you’re in London storage options are plentiful, and will give you a safe place to keep sentimental items for the duration.
When you’re a landlord, you can find yourself with unexpected expenses, and at the least convenient time. Even though you’re not living there you are (with exceptions) responsible for everything in the house the tenants didn’t bring with them.
If you need to replace the boiler, it can cost in the region of £3,000. If this coincides with another major breakage in the house, or an unexpected expense in your own life, this could put you on the financial back foot quite seriously.
Try to make sure you’re putting aside 10% of the rent you collect each month for repair expenses. This should provide you with a sufficient ‘fighting fund’ for emergencies relatively quickly, and ensure you’re always in a position to meet not just your tenants needs but also your legal obligations as a landlord, and avoid unpleasant legal penalties and charges.