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Aug 31

How can DIY landlords be successful without letting agents?

Reading Time: 3 mins

The recent array of legislation changes aimed at the lettings sector has undoubtedly deterred some investors from purchasing in the market. However, the fact remains that buy-to-let let is a strong form of investment.

Rental demand is continuing to outstrip supply in a number of different regions, with savvy landlords sure to enjoy significant yields –if they stay organised and up to date with any further legislation alterations.

A number of investors presently enlist the assistance of a letting agent, in order to help with their daily duties. Letting agents can carry out several tasks, from sourcing and vetting renters, checking their eligibility to rent in Britain and even showing them around the property.

There is however a large change coming, with a proposal to ban letting agent fees levied on tenants looming.  There is concern in the industry that agents are to pass on these fees to landlords, leaving many considering whether to tackle the buy-to-let process alone.

In order for this to be successful, landlords require a mixture of organisation, time-keeping and ultimately, excellent knowledge!

But just how can would-be DIY landlords run a successful investment portfolio? Ryan Weston, of award-winning Landlord Insurance provider Just Landlords, offers his top-tips!

Conduct your research: This might seem like an obvious statement to make, but it is absolutely vital for potential landlords to conduct thorough research before purchasing an investment property. Think about your target market and assess the local amenities. If you are looking for a young family, is there a good school nearby? Should your targets be young professionals, are there good bars and restaurants? Of course, you should also think about fixtures and fittings, getting a thorough survey of the property done where appropriate.

Recite your regulation: There are more regulations to which investors must comply then ever before. As a result, it is imperative for landlords to familarise themselves with these rules, in order to stay on the correct side of the law! The last couple of years in particular have brought more tax-based regulations impacting on the sector, therefore landlords most not only understand but be able to practice within these regulations. It is also very important that landlords make sure they can adapt their finances accordingly.

Take a tenancy deposit: As a landlord, a key component of your duties is to take a deposit from your tenant(s) when they move into your property. This normally amounts to a month’s rent. It is a legal requirement thereafter for you to protect this deposit in one of three Government approved redress schemes. These are namely the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, MyDeposits or the Deposit Protection Scheme. This deposit must be protected within 30 days.

Compose a thorough inventory: When your tenants are almost moved in, it is crucial that you conduct a thorough, photographic inventory with them. This should include photographs of every room in the property, highlighting any existing damage or marks. This will allow you to track any changes or further damage as the tenancy progresses- limiting the chances of a deposit dispute at the conclusion of the let. Make sure you collate two copies of the inventory – one for yourself and one for your tenant.

Make regular inspections: By conducting a thorough inventory, this will also be of great assistance when conducting periodic inspections. Landlords should make regular checks on their property, giving fair notice, normally of around 48 hours. This will allow them to keep track of how their tenants are behaving and if any action should be taken.

Take heed of these key tips and remember to stay organised and professional – you will have a great chance of keeping your tenants happy and your rental returns strong!


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