The UK’s property rental sector has seen phenomenal growth since the year 2000, and there are now around 5.4mn privately rented properties and households. This sector growth has doubled during the period and is predicted to be around 7.2mn by the year 2025.
This makes the thought of becoming a landlord quite attractive, so if you’re considering getting started as a landlord the following tips may prove of some assistance.
1. Reasons to start out as a landlord
One of the main reasons to opt for renting out property is the steady rise in rental prices which has taken place over the past decade alone.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show rents have increased by around 14.5% since the year 2011 and renting out a property you own protects your asset. In the year 2017 property prices increased by an average of 5.8%.
The top three reasons for starting out as a landlord taken from the recently published private landlord survey were…
- Invest in property.
- Build a pension fund.
- Supplement income.
To read the entire survey head to the UK government website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-private-landlord-survey-2018-main-report).
2. How to get started as a landlord
If you already own a property or intend to buy a home to rent out, you’ll want to consider whether renting it would work. Older properties may need renovations before they can be placed on the market. You’ll probably need to research codes of practice for landlords and letting out residential properties before you make any final decisions.
It’s a good idea to check around your local area to find out exactly what demand there is. Rightmove is a good source of up-to-date rental prices. On the whole, families prefer to rent out larger homes in suburban locations rather than inner city properties. However, younger singles and students would rather live close to town and city centres.
3. Legals and tax registration
You should also get in touch with HMRC to talk about your plans and register for self-assessment tax returns.
Getting in touch with an experienced landlord in your local area can be a good move at this time, as the advice provided may help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. For example, an experienced landlord will be able to talk you through the pros and cons of renting out a furnished or unfurnished home. Also, you will need to decide whether you are managing the rental personally or will use a lettings agency as your middleman.
If you are considering using a letting agency such as us, you could easily save yourself countless hours of time and effort learning and keeping up to date with the mountain of legislation involved with being a landlord. Take a look at our tailored landlord packages or give the team a call today for some free and friendly advice on 0333 577 8888.
When you take on tenants, it’s standard practice to issue a tenancy agreement. Ideally, you should get a local solicitor to check over your proposed tenancy agreement beforehand to ensure your rights as a property owner and landlord are protected in full.
4. Some other considerations for getting started as a landlord
Some of the other things to consider before letting out a property include:
- Will you allow pets
- Can tenants sub-let
- If you are leaving furniture and/or appliances in the property, who will be responsible for paying to have them fixed or replaced in the event of damage
- Will tenants be allowed to smoke in the property
- Will utility bills be included in the monthly rental price
5. Some of the costs associated with being a landlord
Renting out properties can create a reliable passive income, however, some costs are entailed. These can include:
- Repairs, when needed
- If you own your property with a mortgage you will still need to make regular repayments
- Refurbishment costs associated with bringing the property up to required rental standards. This can include precautions for fire safety, upgrades to the electrics in the home, etc.
- Renting out furnished properties means you will need to ensure your furniture is fire resistant.
- Letting agency fees will be incurred if you use an agency to handle all the daily administration.
- As a landlord, you will be responsible for paying the insurance on your property
You will also need to pay for an energy performance certificate (EPC) for any property you rent out.
One serious cost consideration for any potential landlord is how bills will be paid if the property is empty.
If you own the home outright, it may not be too much of an issue. however, if you rely on rental income to pay for a mortgage on the property this could become an issue.