Questions, Questions, Questions – we all have them but often they don’t get answered. Being a landlord is a huge responsibility and can be very stressful and confusing. There are probably hundreds of questions rushing around the landlord’s head, so here we take a look at the most common questions a landlord wants to ask…
- How do I know what to charge? You need a letting agent to value your home – renters are likely to be searching the local area so price your property competitively.
- Do I need to tell my mortgage lender? Yes. Some mortgages don’t allow you to let the property so inform your mortgage lender, as they will need to give you permission. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may need a buy-to-let mortgage.
- Should I use a letting agent? When letting a property, you can either do it by yourself or use an agent. If you do decide to use an agent, then remember that they could keep part of the rental income. However, many people appreciate an agent’s expertise, knowledge and help in finding a tenant. There are numerous agents out there, ranging in quality, service and price so shop around and ask your friends for referral.
- What should I do with the tenant’s deposit? You must put any deposit in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If you fail to do this, you could be fined and risk being able to get future tenants.
- Why do I need references? Nightmare tenants and rent arrears aren’t just something that happens in films. These things happen in real life and could easily happen to you so make sure you have references for all tenants. It doesn’t take long to get in contact with a tenant’s previous employer or landlord and you may soon regret it if you forget to do so.
- Do I pay tax on the rental income? All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas.
- What happens with council tax? The tenant is responsible for the council tax and you also need to remember that if the property is empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay. It is also important to remember that the tenant is responsible for a TV license.
- How do I go about visiting the property? The landlord should give the tenant notice that they will be entering the property.
- What if the tenant damages the property or doesn’t pay? Landlord insurance will protect you in the scenario of the tenant not paying. Regarding damage to the property, either the tenant pays to fix it or the cost for fixing the damage is removed from the tenant’s deposit. As a landlord, you need to be realistic and allow slight wear and tear.
- How can I remove the tenant? If your tenant refuses to leave the property then legal action will be necessary. You should attempt to resolve any disputes first but if you need extra information, Citizens Advice is always on hand to offer help.
Whether buying, selling, renting or letting – the property market is a constant learning curve but being well prepared and well educated can make all the difference. Finally, it’s important to remember that there aren’t any stupid questions because ultimately, these questions are helping to make your final decision. If you are a landlord and would like to speak to an expert, then please get in touch today.