As we know, Britain has become a nation of house owners, and as the original house owners from the 80’s have started to pass on to better places, their children (owners themselves) have been inheriting another property. Most of these 2 home families decide to sell one of the properties, but more and more are deciding to join the ranks of the renting fraternity. Unfortunately, this is not always the straightforward venture it may seem, and here are a few of the pitfalls many of these (and other) first time landlords are experiencing.Forgetting Your Obligations
Many new landlords fall foul of laws and regulations before they understand their obligations as landlords, and in particular obligations about health and safety. This, in turn, can lead to fines and sanctions from the authorities. Understand your obligations before you find a tenant, or you could be in real trouble. Check up on your maintenance obligations
before you get into serious trouble.Finding a Suitable Tenant
Just because you have a great property, it doesn’t mean that you will automatically find a great tenant. It could take months before a suitable tenant comes along, especially as single property, first time landlords tend to want a specific clientele. If you are prepared to wait for the right tenant, and vet them before signing a contract, your future as a landlord will be much easier than if you accept the first prospective tenant who presents himself.Nonpayment
Some landlords (especially those whose main income is not the rental) will tolerate tenants who pay late, and will even allow a payment to be missed if made up later. However, this is something you need to avoid. It can become too easy for tenants to feel it is OK to miss payments, and it could be difficult to claim any missing money back. There are also times when a property has no tenant, which is fine for those who have no mortgage, but can still impact your revenue stream. Make sure there is a decent notice period built into your contract, and include insurance for spells with no tenants among your other types of landlords insurance (click here
for a great article on landlords insurance)Maintenance
This is actually quite a big problem for landlords, particularly new ones. They do not understand the costs that can be involved in maintaining a property, and how often it may need to be done (more regularly than a residential property). Make sure you have access to reliable tradesmen, and cover yourself with some landlord maintenance insurance, and you will have far less headaches than you could have if your maintenance problems escalate.End of Contract
Many landlords find that once a tenant moves out, that little things have gone missing or they find some damage that will need some maintenance; both of which have to be paid for by the landlord before another tenant can move in. You can avoid this by having your property inspected by a property company like hertsinventories.co.uk
. This specialist company will take an inventory before a tenant moves in, and will inspect it before they leave. This will mean that any damage or missing items can be deducted from the deposit.
If you want to make sure your foray into the rental property market goes well, make sure you avoid the pitfalls outlined here.