Tips for First-Time Landlords

There are numerous responsibilities that come along with becoming a landlord. For first-time landlords, it can be daunting figuring out where to start, how to succeed, and the best practices of the market.

If you’re a first-time landlord, read our guide to help you navigate landlord duties and excel in your new venture.

Legal and Financial Obligations

It is imperative that you are familiar with your legal and financial obligations when becoming a landlord. Property and tenant management can be complicated, so make sure to consider the following areas:

  • Legal fees (one-off, recurring, and potential),
  • Licenses,
  • Deposit protection schemes,
  • An Energy Performance Certificates for every property,
  • Your obligations as a landlord to your tenants and property.

Preparing a Property for Rental

Following on from your obligations as a landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure that your property is suitable and safe to be inhabited. It is also wise to consider your target demographic of tenants (for example, whether you primarily would like long-term lets, short-term, or student lets) and configure your property to reflect this.

Make sure that you’re taking into consideration:

  • Safety checks of electrical, plumbing, and heating systems, the structure of the building, and any other areas which could cause hazards to the building’s occupants,
  • Conducting routine inspections, usually quarterly but also ad-hoc,
  • Whether you’ll be offering the property furnished or unfurnished,
  • How you will source suitable tenants for your property, whether you do this yourself or using an external service.

Ongoing Tenant and Property Management

As a first-time landlord, you may not necessarily yet know all of the ins and outs of tenancy and property management.

  • Will you be managing the tenancy yourself, or outsourcing this service?
  • Who do the tenants need to contact in case of maintenance/repairs/emergency?
  • Remember you need to give at least 24 hours’ written notice of inspections to tenants, otherwise it is trespassing and illegal to enter the property.

It is vital to be aware of the negatives of owning rental property. You may find yourself out of pocket if a tenant is in rent arrears or between tenancy periods where you need to cover the lack of income.

With the Guaranteed Rental Scheme, Orchard & Shipman can guarantee landlords fixed rental income. Our dedicated team of skilled property managers can oversee the end-to-end lettings and management process, and you will receive your rent each month in advance. Benefits of using this service include no extra fees or set-up costs, ongoing tenancy management on your behalf, no costly void periods even when your property is unoccupied, and no risk of tenant arrears or legal eviction costs. Our guaranteed rental scheme can bring you peace of mind and financial stability, reducing the risks and challenges that you’ll face as a first-time landlord.

General Best Practices

In addition to the specific topics above, here are some general best practices you can adopt as a first-time landlord to ensure the best experience for you, your tenants, and your property.

  • Tenancy agreement documents are not a legal requirement, but they are extremely beneficial to both you as the landlord and to your tenant(s), so it is well worth drawing up this document either yourself or through a management agency,
  • Comprehensive insurance cover for your property – have peace of mind knowing that your money is safe,
  • Research well – understand the law, know your rights, and put a plan in action,
  • Stay organised,
  • Be smart with your money and minimise the financial risks associated with being a landlord by using services such as the Guaranteed Rental Scheme.
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