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Once you have acquired your first investment property, there are are many things to consider for first-time landlords. If you’re planning to rent out your property, here are a few top tips from Mount & Minster letting agents. 

The private rented sector (PRS) shrunk from 4.7m dwellings in 2016-17, to 4.5m in 2017-18, increasing the demand for landlords. Renting your property is a big decision and it’s important you understand what being a landlord involves. We’ve put these tips together to ensure you understand your responsibilities as a landlord, know how to protect your property, and keep your tenants happy and dealing with any issues that may arise.

Do your research

As a first step, get to know your market. Research similar properties in the local area and find out what rents they are achieving each month. A good estate agent will be able to advise you on this. Market the property at a competitive price and aim to keep it filled at all times to minimise rental voids.

Check-in with your lender

If you’re looking to rent out your privately owned home, you go from being a home-owner and occupier to a landlord. Check if your mortgage allows you to let out your property as some agreements include caveats to prevent homes from being rented. If you are unsure, speak to your mortgage lender and they will be able to advise you accordingly.

Management

Being a landlord is a 24/7 job, so you should be prepared to receive calls from your tenant at any time during the day or night. Some issues will need immediate attention and unless you have a managing agent, you are responsible for all repairs and maintenance. There are extensive legal responsibilities you should be aware of (see below). If you’re not up to speed then you could face considerable fines or even a custodial sentence. If you’re not sure, use a reputable letting agent, such as Mount & Minster.

Get the property rental ready

Make sure your property is clean and any modernisation or DIY projects are finished. It will be more attractive to prospective tenants if it’s had a fresh lick of paint, all repairs are done and if necessary, new flooring has been installed. You should also think about the type of tenants your property will be best suited to; for example, young families, students or single professionals. This will determine whether you should let it furnished or unfurnished. If possible, offer both options, so the agent can market your property to a wider audience.

Sort out the insurance

Your existing buildings and contents insurer must be made aware of your intention to let your property, as your policy will probably need to be amended. While specific landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s advisable as the policy will protect the building, your tenants and your investment as a whole – some policies will also pay out if your tenant misses their rent payments.

Legal requirements

When it comes to being a landlord, there are more regulations to comply with than you can shake a stick at. To put it into perspective, there are currently around 150 laws that landlords need to adhere to while letting a property. At the start of a tenancy agreement, you must carry out Right-to-Rent checks in line with immigration laws, protect deposits and have all the essential paperwork in place.

While it isn’t a legal requirement, it’s a very good idea to have a written tenancy agreement so both you and your tenant understand your rights and responsibilities.

The safety of your tenants is very important, so you must also arrange a Gas Safety check every year. It’s also a good idea to make sure all electrical appliances and wiring are tested regularly too. Finally, it goes without saying that your rental property should be fitted with smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors where necessary.

By law, your property needs to have an EPC (energy performance certificate), and it needs to be Band E or above. You won’t be able to market the property unless you reach this standard and have a certificate to prove it, so get it sorted as soon as possible – they’re valid for 10 years.

Regular inspections

It’s important to undertake regular inspections of the property, although remember you can’t enter the property without your tenants’ permission. This is classed as trespassing and is illegal. Give them at least 24 hours’ written notice, and this should be stipulated in your tenancy agreement.

Choosing the right agent

If you want to make the process pain and risk-free, use an agent to manage your property and guide you in the right direction. A good agent will take away the stress of finding suitable tenants and will ensure your property complies with any regulatory changes. Mount & Minster are Propertymark Protected agents, having been recognised as experienced and trained professionals who work to a code of practice in order to help landlords manage their homes.

For further information of for a FREE CONSULTATION, either contact us or call 01522 716204 or 01476 515 329.

Common perceptions dictate, that if a home doesn’t sell, there must be something wrong with it. That’s a true statement. In a market that is moving, there is something wrong with a home that doesn’t sell. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not always location or condition. 

It could be that you’ve chosen the wrong estate agent. Not just because their marketing strategy is ineffective, but more likely due to the fact they’ve given you the wrong advice; Price.

Why Buyers Don’t Make Offers on Overpriced Listings:

1. Buyers don’t want to offend the seller. It goes against human nature to offer substantially less than the asking price to a seller. It’s insulting to the seller and embarrassing for the buyer.

2. Buyers tend to believe that the seller knows the home is overpriced. They then believe that if a seller would be willing to sell for less, the seller would simply lower the price.

3. Buyers also assume that the seller must have turned down lower offers from other buyers because surely someone, somewhere would have offered a reasonable price to the seller. Many times, there are no offers at all.

4. Most importantly – buyers are offering on the “more competitively priced” properties available, surrounding the overpriced home INSTEAD!

How Mount & Minster get the best price for our selling clients:

We spend every day studying local markets and have found that our carefully organised viewing structure is very effective and our guide price strategy get the attention a property deserves, often selling for a higher price. After-all, the value of the property is what someone is willing to pay for it. If someone really falls in love with it, they’ll pay what they think it’s worth to them. If this is more than the guide price, so be it!!

Go too high from the start, you’ll burn your bridges and go stale. There’s a good chance it will eventually sell, but for less than what it should have gone on the market for originally.

To find out more about you can benefit from an award-winning  and high impact marketing plan, feel free to contact us for your FREE market appraisal.

MOUNT & MINSTER HAVE ONCE AGAIN BEEN EXCLUSIVELY SELECTED TO REPRESENT THEIR LOCAL CLIENTS AND HOME-SELLERS IN THIS YEARS LONDON & COUNTRY PROPERTY SHOW IN CHELSEA. 

The only local agent to be showing, selling and displaying prominent local properties that are available for sale in the East Midlands, we are pleased to be attending this increasingly popular property exhibition at Chelsea Old Town Hall on the King’s Road, Chelsea on the 14th May 2019.

This high-profile event, held in conjunction with Country Life magazine, is specifically targeted at those currently living in the south east and London who are seeking to move away from the capital. These sought-after buyers are often in a cash position and often pay more for properties which are comparatively much better value compared to where they currently live.

The East Midlands is becoming more and more popular with southern buyers who are attracted by our stand-out properties which are easily within their reach financially, as well as our proximity to superb transport links, fast rail connections and highly regarded local schools.

Last year, Mount & Minster successfully sold the majority of the properties they pushed at the show and are once again promoting an exclusive collection of properties to this special and targeted demographic.

If you think your property would suit a London or southern buyer and you would like to know more about the Show and attract a premium price then please feel free to contact anyone of our Chartered property professionals in either the Grantham office (01476 515329) or the Lincoln office (01522 715204). Alternatively, contact us here to learn more about this exciting opportunity.