Firstly, you will need to ensure your property is in a good enough condition to rent. It is a good idea to give it a lick of paint and ensure that you repair anything that needs mending now.
All the electrics need to be sound and you should supply smoke alarms. A fire in your property would be bad enough, but as a reputable landlord, a fire that kills or injures you tenant would be unthinkable.
You need to make sure you have sufficient insurance should any damage occur to the property but it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure their contents and valuables.
Make sure that all appliances you leave in the property are safe and remember that whatever you leave in the property, should it go wrong you need to replace it.
Before you allow any tenant in the property you need to undertake an inventory and photos of the property, too. This will be an invaluable piece of evidence should you have a dispute with a tenant at the end of the contract.
When it comes to marketing the property check out the rental price of all the other houses for rent in Haverhill, Sudbury or Southend, where ever your property is, that way you’ll know that you are not under pricing your property. Even worse, you could over price it and see it languish, empty on the market for weeks.
This would be an expensive mistake especially as you will still need to cover the mortgage payments on the house.
Many private landlords engage the services of letting agents and most are very eager for your business so you could pick up a good deal. There are different levels of service they offer.
Some will offer a budget type of service known as ‘let only’ that includes marketing the property, showing prospective tenants round and once they have found someone who wants to take on the property, they will carry out the necessary credit checks.
Others will manage the property for you once the tenant is in situ so that you never need to talk to the tenant as the letting agent will do this for you. Of course, this comes at a price and you will generally pay a percentage of the monthly rental income to the letting agent for this.
If you opt for ‘let only’ this means that you intend to manage the property yourself and have your contact details passed onto the tenant. So be prepared to act should your tenant ring you when they have problems with the tenancy. Yes, this means arriving with a spare set of keys if they lock themselves out.
If you are in doubt about the whole procedure, it’s advisable to contact an independent organisation that can give you the information you need or speak to an experienced landlord. Good luck.
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