first time landlord

5 February 2023

New Landlord? Here’s What To Think About

Are you in the early stages of becoming a landlord?

If you have a property you think would be ideal to rent out, here are key factors to consider.

Are YOU Right For Rental?

Wanting to provide a rental property that meets the needs of tenants should be at the heart of deciding whether to become a landlord. And being a flexible, helpful, and approachable landlord will pay dividends when it comes to keeping your tenants happy.

If you care about providing a good home, you tick the first (and most important) box on being suitable for life as a landlord.

Is Your Property Right For Rental?

There are lots of factors that can make your property attractive to the right tenants. But a handful of basics will help to avoid your property sitting empty. An attractive home in a good location that is safe and comfortable are the essentials that all tenants want and deserve.

Additional factors then come into play depending on who you want to attract. For example families like good school catchments and garden space. Students, on the other hand, look for plenty of communal space.

Put yourself in your potential tenant’s shoes and consider what they would like and need.

Who Will Be Your Ideal Tenants?

Homing in on your ideal tenants will help you to establish how you prepare your property for market. For example, it will define if you offer your property on a household tenancy or as a house of multiple occupation (HMO).

Household tenancies consist of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. HMOs are often suited to students or single working professionals who want to share with others. If you go down the HMO route, additional legal responsibilities and a license are required if five or more people occupy it.

Knowing who your ideal tenants are will also help you to decide how to furnish your property. For example, if you are looking to rent to students, the expectations are for furnished properties with plenty of storage. 

Find out more about marketing your rental property as furnished or unfurnished

How Will You Find Your Tenants?

As letting specialists, we know that using agents to find tenants for your property will save you time and hassle. It’s the route most landlords choose to find their tenants.

Letting agents provide high-quality photography and access to websites such as Rightmove, ensuring that people looking for exactly what you have to offer can find your property. And letting agents often have a register of interested tenants just waiting for their ideal home. 

Income Potential

Renting out a property can bring with it a solid financial investment for your future. 

To get an idea of the property’s potential income, you need to establish a marketable rental value that tenants are willing to pay. You will also need to ensure that it will cover your costs and ideally provide both a short-term income and long-term investment.

With decades of experience in the Norfolk rental property market, we are experts at establishing the right rent for your property. If you would like to book a chat with Jonathan, get in touch today.  

Safety Regulations

There are regulations for rental properties that you must adhere to. These relate to Gas and Electrical appliances, fire and safety. They are primarily in place to keep tenants safe, but they will also reduce the risk of damage to your property. These regulations might require changes to your property to ensure it is 100% safe.

Landlord regulations are periodically updated, and we can go through all your legal responsibilities with you and the costs involved. At Prolet, we are always up to date on every legal aspect of being a landlord. 

Current regulations include:

  • Obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property
  • Fitting smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Electrical safety certificates to show that all appliances are working correctly and are safe to use
  • An annual gas safety checks and records
  • Placing your tenant’s deposits in a tenancy deposit protection scheme

Landlord Insurance

As a landlord, you need to ensure adequate legal protection and the appropriate buildings and content insurance. Traditional home insurance won’t offer enough protection as additional risks are involved when tenants occupy a property.

Whilst we are not able to offer financial advice, we recommend Broadland Consultants for these purposes.

Tax Implications for Your Rental Property

Letting out a property is the same as running a business. And for that reason, your rental profit is subject to income tax implications. As with any business income, you will need to report it on a self-assessment tax return.

Whilst we can’t offer tax advice, please do get in touch, as we have several brilliant tax advisors that we can recommend. 

Your Mortgage

If you pay a mortgage on your property, you may need consent from your mortgage lender to let out the property. And if you are looking to rent out your property on a long-term basis, it’s more than likely you will need to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.

Buy-to-let mortgages are similar in many ways to regular mortgages, but with a few differences. For starters, the amount you can borrow is linked to the amount of rental income you expect to receive. And Buy-to-let mortgages tend to have higher fees and interest rates to allow for times when your property might lie empty.

At Prolet, we are lettings specialists, but not mortgage advisors. We recommend Broadland Consultants to provide your mortgage advice.

Taking The Next Step To Become a Landlord

Once you have carefully considered the basics we’ve laid out, the next step in your journey might be to discuss your options with industry specials.  

At Prolet, we help landlords in Norwich and all across Norfolk to manage their property portfolios. We take the stress out of finding tenants for your property and day-to-day management and maintenance issues. We are always at the end of a phone to discuss any element of property management. From finding the best locations to maintenance advice, we are here to help.