Becoming a Landlord
Understand your obligations and responsibilities when becoming a Landlord.
It’s important to understand your obligations and responsibilities when becoming a Landlord. Follow our checklist to learn how to manage your rental property effectively.
Do your homework
Becoming a Landlord can be a profitable investment, but it’s vital you do your research. Before you begin, make sure you’re aware of the associated costs, your responsibilities and, of course, don’t be afraid to get landlord advice from those in the know.
Research buy to let mortgages
There’s no rulebook for how to become a Landlord, but you’ll want to learn a bit more about buy to let mortgages. If you have a residential mortgage, it’s likely you’ll be obliged to live in your property under the terms of your agreement.
Know your target market
When it comes to finding tenants, the most sensible landlord advice is to choose wisely. Who would you like to attract and who would you be happiest dealing with? What would appeal to them and what would they expect you to provide in return for their rent? Think about whether your property should be furnished or unfurnished, and consider your target market, whether it’s young couples on a budget, high-earning professionals or families looking for space.
Decide how to manage the property
In becoming a Landlord, it’s important to think about the day-to-day management and what this involves. For instance, what’s the best way of collecting the rent? And what are your responsibilities with regards to maintenance? You are ultimately responsible for the property, but you may wish to delegate some tasks. Remember, you have a choice – either appoint a letting agent, or go for the self-management option.
Understand your responsibilities
You may already have a good understanding of how to become a Landlord, but it’s worth writing a final checklist of your responsibilities in case there’s anything you’ve missed.
First, you should ensure your home is fit for habitation, with any essential repairs undertaken beforehand. In common law, you have an implied obligation to make sure the water, gas and electricity is in working order. Your other core duties include adequate ventilation, natural lighting, drainage without defects and sanitation facilities like baths, basins and sinks.
As a Landlord, you must ensure that your tenants can legally rent a property in the UK, even if they’re not named on the tenancy agreement. If your tenant is residing in the UK for a limited period of time, you need to undertake your checks in the 28 days before the tenancy begins. The Home Office can offer further Landlord advice regarding citizens who may not possess the right documents but have the right to live in the UK.
Read our guide to landlord rights and responsibilities for more information.
Know your tenants’ rights
Becoming a Landlord also means understanding the rights of your tenants. Did you know that aside from emergencies, it’s illegal for a Landlord to enter a property unless you have permission from the tenant? The law states that tenants have the right to ‘exclusive possession’ and ‘quiet enjoyment’, which means any contractual clauses which stipulate otherwise aren’t enforceable. For essential repairs you can obtain ‘reasonable access’ with 24 hours’ permission.
If you rent out your property on an assured shorthold tenancy, you must put each tenant’s deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) within 30 days of receiving it. You are not obliged to protect a holding deposit until the moment the tenancy starts. At the end of the tenancy, you must return the deposit within 10 days, provided the tenant has met terms of the tenancy agreement. You can instruct your letting agent to manage the deposit scheme if you prefer.
Do I need Landlords Insurance?
If you're renting out your own home or purchasing another property it’s wise to take out Landlords Insurance, so you have the appropriate cover should unforeseen problems crop up. In your Landlord checklist, make sure you’re aware of your legal obligations, such as gas safety and energy performance certificates.
Get Landlord advice on your tax return
Any advice on becoming a Landlord should cover taxes. As a Landlord you will need to complete a Self Assessment tax return, and the profits you make from your property will form part of your total taxable income. Speak to HM Revenue and Customs to understand your tax obligations in full.
Discover how to be a Landlord
If you’re still looking for answers on how to become a Landlord, we’ve got you covered. Find out how our Landlords Insurance can help you protect your investment.