Leicester is having a sort of resurgence right now, with the remains of kings being found and the football teams recent success. This coupled with the huge number of young families moving to Leicester and a growing student population, this makes Leicester an attractive opportunity for first-time landlords. Now we understand entering the world of rental management can be a strange, and overwhelming, experience for many first-time landlords. To combat this we’ve thought of all the things these new landlords should understand before they venture into the rental market and listed them below. Check out some of the essential things to consider before renting out a property or choosing a letting agent in Leicester.
What Rent You Should Be Charging
A first-time landlord may not have the first idea of how much their property is actually worth on the market. You may completely underestimate the worth of properties of your size or specification. Some good old fashioned competitive research can help with this, checking what similar properties in your area are going for or asking your letting agent. Estate agents in Leicester should have a portfolio of similar properties in the area and be able to advise on the going rate. if you’ve put in some extra work into the property, be sure to include them! This includes things such as a renovation, extension or loft conversions. These and other features can allow you to charge a higher rate.
Getting the Correct Insurance
While you’re not legally required to have insurance as a landlord, it is highly recommended that you do. Most mortgages will require you to take one out. Sadly you cannot take out standard homeowner policies as a landlord and you will need to look into specialist options. Additional insurance is recommended for non-payment of rent, any damage to your property by the tenant and any liability for accidents that may occur on your property. You can turn to your estate agent if you wish but shopping around yourself is the best idea so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.
Drafting up the Correct Leasing Agreement
Leasing agreements are standardised in many ways, but each one will have their own differences to reflect the needs of both you the landlord and your tenant. You need to both understand your individual obligations and exactly what is expected during the tenancy. The lease will contain some key points such as pet policies, security deposits, rental due dates, eviction terms and routine upkeep. If you have a dedicated letting agent they’ll be able to draw this lease up for you but as the property owner, you can insist on certain stipulations being included.
Prepare for a Mountain of Administrative Work
Sadly you can’t just put your property on the market and leave it to itself, even after a tenant moves in. You have to earn that extra bit of income with some work! There’s a huge amount of paperwork and administration involved. That’s why most landlords choose to use the services of a letting agent.
Finding the Management Company That Works Best for You
If you have a full-time job, a family or both then you may find the demands of being a landlord very time restrictive. A property management company will save you time and money when it comes to finding, booking and handling tenants. You can decide how much control they take over the rental process, allowing them to take full control and removing you from the process entirely or just to assist you in certain areas.
Familiarise Yourself with Your Rights During Eviction
We all hope you’ll never have to actually experience this but it is always a possibility. Knowing your rights and the legalities involved during the eviction process is essential. You need to be prepared for the horrible fact that if your tenant doesn’t pay rent then you can’t just kick them out. If only it were that simple. You’ll need to take them to court, resulting in costly legal fees, so make sure you plan for this.
Have a Rainy Day Fund for the Property
We’re all guilty of leaving some things in our homes broken for far too long, prioritising other things rather than maintenance. As a landlord you sadly cannot do this, tenants will expect broken utilities and damage to the house to be dealt with promptly. Finding yourself a local and reliable service provider such as a plumber is a great start, so you have a first port of call if anything goes wrong. You can also agree on a lump retainer with your letting agent to deal with any maintenance and repairs without having to consult you.
Make a Decision on What You Want to do Regarding Furniture
If you’re going to rent out your flat you’ll need to decide whether it’s furnished or unfurnished – and if you go for the latter, you’ll need to make sure you’ve removed everything from the property. If you have a house full of furniture, you’ll need to plan in advance for the removal.
Update Your Mortgage Provider
Many landlords use a buy-to-let mortgage, where they buy the property with the intention of letting it out, but for homeowners who have a standard mortgage and then decided to rent instead, the rules are slightly different. You must inform your mortgage provider, who may charge you a higher rate. Speak to your letting agent to find out the laws that apply to your situation.