Buying to let is a great way to invest in property with minimal risk. In the current climate, more people are renting property and waiting longer to buy their own home, so there is plenty of demand quality accommodation within all price brackets
Once you’ve got your house and you’ve found yourself some tenants, you might find yourself in need of advice as to how to keep on top of rent collection, tenants in arrears and upkeep regulations. Direct Line for Business provide landlord insurance and crucial public liability insurance, the two key policies you’ll want in place to protect your property once you’ve made that all important purchase; you might not know that while landlord insurance is not a legal requirement, it’s the only way to really ensure your property has adequate cover when it’s inhabited.
As well as the Direct Line site, there are some great resources online for landlords, whether you’ve got a large portfolio or are renting out a spare room. Of course your first port of call should be the official government site for landlords, but there are a number of sites and blogs which are dedicated to help experienced and learner landlords alike. Below are just a few.
If you need an outline of your responsibilities
Working out what is your job and what is the responsibility of your tenants can often be a grey area, especially in the case of a house’s liveability being compromised unexpectedly; whether it’s damage, infestation or a breakage, the impetus is to get it sorted which can mean you need to know who’s paying for what right away.
Specialist landlord insurers will often have advisers you can contact directly to find out what your obligations are, and you’ll be able to find out what areas of damage are covered under your policy. Regular checks to the house, arranged at the discretion of your tenant and yourself, will also help you keep on top of any wear and damage that’s occurring and let you act accordingly before the situation gets out of hand.
If you need legal help
There are a number of associations dedicated to supporting private and residential landlords, so be sure to check out membership if you want to benefit from their advice. Bodies like the NLA can offer legal support and help you represent your views at a national level.
It’s always advisable to keep hold of any communications between you and your tenants so you can refer back to it, and worth the expense to talk to a solicitor if you need firm legal advice on which to act.
The Shelter charity website also has advice on housing benefits and legal rights, which, though aimed at tenants, can be helpful for landlords too.
Find your voice online
Establishing an online presence as a company, whether through a website or a social media site, can also be a great way to publicise your business. It’s also a great platform on which to interact with the thriving online landlord community, and add to the wealth of expertise and experience that’s already out there.