Return of the ‘accidental’ landlord
- 10th January 2012
- Property Tips
A beginner’s guide from ludlowthompson for London landlords being forced to let.
According to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), the number of homes coming onto the rental market because they cannot be sold is increasing, causing a rise in the number of accidental landlords.
During Q3 2011, 47% of ARLA member agents surveyed reported a rise in the number of ‘unplanned’ lettings because they were unable to sell their property, or holding off for a higher price.
Stephen Ludlow, Chairman of ludlowthompson comments: “New so-called ‘accidental’ landlords who have been forced by personal circumstances to let a property can maximise their returns as they wait to sell.”
Beginner’s guide to letting from ludlowthompson
Preparation: Conduct thorough research and seek professional advice about the local rental market. Be realistic about how much rent the property will generate.
Thorough referencing: It is vital to make thorough reference checks on the prospective tenant’s credit worthiness and authenticate their personal details. Professional estate agents like ludlowthompson carry out these essential checks for landlords, ensuring a high quality of tenant.
Register the tenant’s deposit: All landlords must register a tenant’s deposit with an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme.
Thorough inventory: Put together a detailed inventory that includes the condition of features and fittings of the property as well as its contents, making a clear note of any wear and tear. Take photographic evidence throughout, and ensure the final documentation is jointly approved by you and your tenant. Using a professional to do this is an added cost, but it is tax deductible.
Tax deductibles: Many lettings expenses can be offset against tax on rental income. For example, letting agent fees, legal fees, accountancy fees, building and contents insurance, ground rent and repairs (but not improvements) can all be offset against tax.
Landlord insurance: Landlords can protect their rental investment with affordable, competitive cover for legal expenses and rental compensation, should tenant be unable to pay their rent.
Health and safety: Landlords have to provide an up-to-date gas safety certificate and any furniture provided must meet with basic fire safety regulations.
Stephen Ludlow adds: “Accidental landlords who follow these basic steps might find that they get the buy-to-let bug!”
Accidental landlords who follow these basic steps might find that they get the buy-to-let bug!
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