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From Homeowner to Landlord: Top Tips when Renting for the First Time!

Between 2008 and 2021, the UK has seen an increase of over 1 million households in the private rental sector, with this figure only increasing year on year due to the high demand for rental properties in light of high property prices. There are many reasons why people choose to enter the rental market, the main reason being as a long-term investment and to supplement other sources of income. Property ownership also allows for individuals to grow their wealth over time, generating passive income and often being left with an asset that is more valuable than when they initially purchased it.

Although entering the rental market comes with an abundance of benefits, there are many challenges that landlords face when renting for the first time. In this blog, we will explore some of our top tips for those wanting to enter the rental market and what important aspects must be considered in great detail before doing so.

From Homeowner to Landlord: Top Tips when Renting for the First Time!

Understanding the Laws and Regulations of the Private Rental Sector

When renting, there are various responsibilities that you have as a landlord, most of which are embedded in legislation. Below we have listed some of the most important legal considerations that you must keep in mind, both before and after entering the rental market:

Do you have a right to rent?

Owning a property does not automatically give you the right to rent it out. If you have a mortgage on the property you first have to check with your lender that you are able to rent the property. In some circumstances, you may have to change to a ‘buy to let mortgage’ in order to rent out the property. 

Are you aware of your legal responsibilities to your tenant?

The greatest responsibility of a landlord is that their property must be fit for purpose, including various requirements such as being free from health hazards, properly installed and maintained electrical and gas equipment, being able to provide an Energy Performance Certificate and properly installed and maintained smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The numerous other legal responsibilities possessed by a landlord can be found on the Government Website, it is important that you familiarise yourself with these responsibilities and read them thoroughly before you decide to rent out your property.

Finding the Right Tenant

When becoming a landlord, finding the right tenant for you is just as crucial as your tenant finding the right property is for them. The tenant in your property essentially acts as the ‘caretaker’ for your asset, as well as being the one who provides you with the stream of income that will often go back into the property in the form of mortgage payments or maintenance costs. Having a good tenant is therefore extremely important.

In order to find the right tenant for you, you must carefullyscreen interested individuals by way of thorough background checks, credit history, rental history, and employment status.

Comprehensive Lease Agreement

The lease agreement is at the heart of the relationship between you and your tenant.

It is important to have a clear and comprehensive agreement that defines and outlines all aspects of the lease, covering the responsibilities of each party.  Not only does this protect your interests, but also the interests of the tenant.

If any disputes arise, it is the lease agreement that will provide the resolution without having to seek any further legal advice, aiding in a clear and understanding relationship between yourself and your tenant.

Here at Hodgkinsons, we have a skilled and experienced Residential and Conveyancing Team that can help you when it comes to drafting a thorough and precise lease agreement. 

Emergency Funds

Although private renting is often a stable form of income, it is always important to be prepared for any period of vacancy or any unexpected outgoings for things like maintenance on the property. Situations like this cannot always be anticipated, and it is therefore a good idea to have an emergency cushion in the event challenges arise, you will be more prepared to overcome the obstacle without having to worry as much about your personal finances. 

Our Landlord and Tenant Team are experts in handling matters of all kinds on a nationwide basis. Whether the property in question is located in Skegness, Boston, Louth, Lincoln, Rural Lincolnshire, or further afield, Hodgkinsons can help you. To arrange a mutually convenient date and time to discuss a property matter with our Team, call Hodgkinsons on 01754 897150 or submit an online form and the Team will reach out to you.