There are many reasons for considering becoming a landlord. Rental income can easily cover your mortgage repayments, and even bring in a healthy income on top. You might choose to buy a property so that you can rent it out. This is often called ‘buy-to-let.’ Mortgage lenders look favorably on this kind of loan because they know you are quite likely to have an income from it to repay the mortgage.
But there are plenty of things to consider before you take the plunge. First, you need to work out which property you want to let out. If you are in a relationship that has become serious, chances are you want to live with your partner. This may mean that one of your properties will be vacant. This could be the perfect opportunity to rent it out. Alternatively, you may have an opportunity to purchase a doer-upper. If you can bring it up to standard quickly, it can soon be earning you an income from a tenant.
Wherever you live, chances are you are bound by local laws and guidelines on the standards required for a rental property. Things like fire exits, smoke alarms, and a certificated electric supply are obvious things to have in place. But you may also need to have annual checks on some of the facilities you’re providing in the property too. This will probably include your air conditioning. If you are letting your property furnished, you need to make sure the items available are safe and up to current standards.
It is often a requirement that you place any deposit fund you collect in a special bank account. This protects the amount for the duration of the tenancy. However, it is there to cover the cost of any damage or payment arrears from your tenant. You can set the amount you ask for, but remember, a high value may be beyond the reach of some of the tenants you’re trying to attract. A month’s rent is a common figure to request.
Of course, things do break and maintenance is required for the property. It can be expensive if you don’t manage these things yourself. If you use an agency to advertise the property and manage your tenants, this too can eat into your income. You will also need to manage your end of lease cleaning. This is usually undertaken by professionals. They can send in a team with equipment to tackle windows, ovens, and bathrooms quickly and easily.
Once you have signed a tenancy agreement, you must stick to it. It is very difficult to evict a tenant within the period set on the agreement. It’s there to protect you both. You may need a court order to evict a tenant after the agreement expires if they refuse to leave as well. This can be a long-winded process sometimes. However, the vast majority of tenants are happy to accept the terms laid out, and very few become troublesome.
As a landlord, you could be helping people out in need of a safe and secure home. You can also benefit from the additional income it brings. Best of all, the property will always be yours until you choose to sell.