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Have you been in the landlord business for a long time or have just started out? Here are some very helpful tips to guide you from finding your tenants to securing your property.
Finding a Tenant Of course anyone is excited to finally get a tenant, but remember to have the right one. Conduct a simple interview about them; get to know a little of their background and about their previous landlord. This will help you avoid damage to your properties and possible rent arrears. To avoid disputes over damage deposits create an inventory list for you and your tenant that you can both check and keep before, during and after the tenancy. To lessen your work you can find good Newport letting agents out there to take care of your property’s viewing, damage deposit collection, arrange inventory, taking references and tenancy agreement. Getting your properties to website portals like RightMove, Zoopla and Find a property for maximum exposure plus these letting agents have a directory list of possible tenants in Newport.
Tenancy Agreement Make a joint or separate agreement for more than one tenant especially when they are unrelated to avoid concerns in the future. Some tenants assume that council tax, utilities and insurance of possessions are already included in the rent and under your policy. So make sure the agreement is transparent to both parties. You can use the common agreement AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), but is not valid for a holiday let or renting a room to a lodger. Or get a recommendation from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a local Newport letting agent where there’s no need to sign up.
The Deposit Landlords usually require a 4-6 weeks damage deposit that is refundable to secure yourself from damage to property. There is a legal requirement to protect deposits in an approved deposit scheme. There are three schemes available: the custodial scheme DPS and insurance-based schemes TDS and mydeposits. Remember to provide your tenant with details within 30 days. If you have an agent, let them secure the deposit within the time given to avoid penalties. If they hold the deposit they must have a separate client account.
Your Responsibilities as a Landlord Provide tenants with valid gas safety and energy performance certificates for the property. Gas safety checks should be done annually by a registered engineer. On the other hand, EPC is required to give information about your property’s energy efficiency to your potential tenants. It is valid for ten years or you can have a new check performed if desired. Ensure the furniture meets fire safety standards and have an electric safety check performed to avoid possible disasters. For more than one unrelated tenants, require an HMO license from your local authority and adhere to their regulations surrounding health and safety.
Property Management Is it going to be you or a Newport letting agent? Consider the time and effort you will make to attend to your tenants’ needs. Will you be able to handle issues like maintenance and repair? Is your availability expected anytime of the day when unexpected issues take place? If you are looking for an agent, then be open and negotiate with regards to fees and always remember to read documents carefully.
Treasure Receipts Keep a record of any expenses related to the management of your property to offset against your tax liability. This will also help you for future cross checking of income and expenses.