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First time landlord - help please on the basics!

(6 Posts)
PervyMuskrat Thu 01-Nov-12 21:16:59

We're intending on renting out our current property when we buy our new house (fingers crossed in before Christmas!) and have sorted out the mortgage on both, but what else do we need to do before we rent it out ?

Lots of thoughts running round in my head, so apologies the number of questions!

The current plan is to use an agency for the first 12m and then take it over ourselves, as the agency should (?) tell us what safety checks etc we need and what level of rent to charge. Is this realistic ?

Would anyone recommend letting to friends of friends ? We've had a family tell us they'd love to rent it, and they seem like reasonable people, but we will probably see them socially over the next few years - how awkward is it to do this ?

Any tips on who is good for landlord insurance ? We'll have to decorate as it's a bit lived in, but is it worth doing a deep clean before tenants move in ?

Anything else I've forgotten ?

And breathe grin

housesalehelp Thu 01-Nov-12 21:49:46

are you going to be near by and not too busy - in which case I wouldnt get the agent to manage but would get them to do tenent find and set up- costs for full managment are quite high for usually not a great deal
get a few agents in to quote - their prices can differ a fair bit - also look on rightmove for what is up for rent in your ara
If you do rent to friends of friend I would recommend the agent doing the contract and credit check as well - provided they pay their rent and you fix any problems quicky its shouldn't be a problem
we use for insurance
get agents to advise on what is needed for your area

PervyMuskrat Thu 01-Nov-12 22:01:51

Thanks for the tips - will be nearby but I work 4 or 5 days a week and DH works 5 days so we're usually quite busy. I do know a decent plumber and locksmith though, so if we build up a list of decent people to use when things go wrong, I think we might be ok

Zavi Fri 02-Nov-12 00:38:18

If you use an agency to find you tenants, they will want to continue taking a monthly fee from you for as long as the same tenants are in the flat - quite standard! To avoid this, negotiate with them for a fixed, one off, tenant finding only fee.
When you rent your property out don't forget you need to have a gas safety check and EPC carried out before the tenants move in. Cleaning and inventories need to be done at check in and check out. You will also need your mortgage providers permission (and they may increase your interest rate). If the property is being let furnished then applicable furniture (eg sofa) must meet certain fire safety standards. You will also need to pay tax on any profits that can not be offset.
Don't let any of that put you off. Quite a bit of organisation is needed to get things off the ground but it's all do-able and straight-forward really.

enabledebra Fri 02-Nov-12 01:09:31

I'm an accidental landlord and have been for 7 years now- it's easier than it seems.

You MUST get a gas safety certificate

You MUST get an EPC

If you take a deposit you MUST use a scheme to protect it

Make sure you take enough details from the tenant to take effective action if you need to use the courts to claim rent arrears- full names, date of birth, car reg, employers details and earnings etc.

consider requiring a guarantor - people are more likely to ensure they pay the rent if they know someone else could be held liable if they don't.

Draw up a full inventory of the condition of the property and any furniture etc.

Don't provide white goods (you'll be shelling out for repairs to them constantly)

Know your responsibilities:

Consider setting up a separate bank account just for the income and outgoings so you can easily keep track for tax etc.

PervyMuskrat Fri 02-Nov-12 19:42:54

Thanks for the advice, very useful information there. We will be letting unfurnished but will have to provide white goods as the kitchen is fully integrated and we wouldn't be able to prise them out and take them with us. Will bear it in mind when the appliances break though.

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