Following the pandemic, a growing number of people have found themselves as ‘accidental’ landlords. All this means is homeowners have had to move; perhaps due to work, family requirements or illness, but aren’t in a position to sell their home. This may leave renting out the property as the only available option to ensure the mortgage is paid.
If this sounds like you and you’re in the process of preparing to get tenants in, here’s some top tips from us on how you can prepare your property:
Get consent to let
First things first, as you currently live in the property with a residential mortgage, you’ll need to get consent from your lender before you put your property on the rental market. Each lender has slightly different policies and procedures to follow for this, which they can advise of you when you’re ready to start the process.
Get your documents in order
As a landlord, you have to meet certain requirements put in place by the government to ensure your property is fit to live in. Make sure you have the following documents in place and up to date before you rent the property out:
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
You’re legally obligated to have an up to date EPC and you must provide your tenant with a copy too. If you need someone to come and do an assessment, contact an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) to come and sort that out for you. Once you have the certificate in place, you’re good to go for the next 10 years.
Gas Safety Certificate
Similarly to the EPC, you’ll need to provide your tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate. To be safe, you can get an annual service from a CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) approved engineer.
Your average home insurance won’t cover you when you become a landlord. If there’s damage or any accidents, you want to make sure you’re covered! You can easily arrange your landlord insurance once you have your EPC and gas safety certificate in place.
Decide who will manage the property day to day
Some people are happy to rent via a private agreement and take more of a hands-on approach, which can also be the more cost effective option. Others prefer to pay a management or letting agent so that the day-today running aspects are taken care of, which is a more popular choice if you have other commitments such as work or family.
Carry out any structural repairs
Tenants want to know they’re moving into a safe and secure home. Before letting out your property, make sure you’ve taken care of any structural repairs such as damp or replacing windows and doors.
Make sure any electrical appliances and plumbing are working well before you get your tenants in. You don’t want to run the risk of being the landlord that lets out a substandard property.
Give things a bit of a spruce up – indoors and outdoors
You might be tempted to add some jazzy features to your property, but generally it’s best to keep things as neutral as possible. Trends change; so the more neutral you keep the décor, the more longevity your property will have in the rental market.
If your home has garden space, you’ll want to make sure this is given a quick refresh before your tenant moves in. You’ll also need to decide whether the upkeep of the garden is the responsibility of the tenant or you before they move in.
The right advice for rental and residential
If you’re looking to get advice on taking out a new mortgage for a residential or rental property, our mortgage advisers in Northwich are here to help. To make a free, no-obligation appointment please call us on 08009155409 or send us an e-mail.