First time landlord advice from Property Quote Direct

The pros and cons of being a landlord

A landlord is someone who owns a property and then rents it out to a tenant. When things are going right it largely consists of collecting rent on time, doing all safety checks and maintaining the property. However, at its worst it can involve dealing with nuisance tenants who may damage the property, filing insurance claims and even paying out bills on a property that is empty.

Becoming a landlord for the first time requires careful consideration. Before buying a property it is a good idea to find out the going rental rate of similar properties in the area. Focus on a property which can be afforded with a monthly mortgage repayment that is equal to, or better still, less than the rent which will be received. Always budget for some renovations and plan on any expenses exceeding expectations.

What to consider

Landlord insurance should be a key consideration. Speak with an insurance company as to what are the best forms of insurance for the property. A landlord whether new or experienced, should always insure against fire, flood or other relevant contingencies. Always have a lease drawn up. This should be done by hiring a professional who will draw up a formal lease that meets all the expectations of a renter and a landlord. The lease is an important legal document which will form the relationship between a landlord and tenant and needs to be taken very seriously.

Vacant properties

An empty property will not earn any money for a landlord. As soon as possible, the property needs to be advertised. Always screen all potential tenants very carefully, this includes conducting a credit check and always explain to a tenant their responsibilities under the lease.

To be a good landlord, one important thing to do is to become familiar with all the rights and responsibilities, and familiarise you with health and safety regulations. If you do have one or more properties left vacant for some time be sure that they are covered by your insurance policy. If the property will be left empty for several months you may need to purchase unoccupied property insurance.

Provide good maintenance which will keep all appliances, electrical, plumbing, heating, fire alarms and security alarm systems in good working condition. Respect the tenants’ privacy by giving adequate notice before entering the property.

The main principle behind being a good landlord is to always think not as the owner of a house but as a service provider to the tenant, it just happens to be your house. Just keep in mind always that the tenant who pays the rent needs to be happy. This does not mean giving more than what the tenant pays rent for. Fairness is a virtue that is expected of you and this fairness needs to be applied to both the landlord and the tenant.

If there is one piece of advice that we could stress to all landlords it is to get your properties insured. Any damage to one of your properties could result in a huge cost to your regardless of if it was caused by tenants or through an accident. By getting insured you will no longer have to fear these incidences and costs.

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