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Nine things to do before letting your home: A Guide for new Landlords

Thinking about renting your home out, but not sure where to start? We share some top tips to help get you started on your new venture.

Are you going on an extended sabbatical or moving abroad/to another region – or perhaps you’ve become an ‘accidental landlord’ as you move up the property ladder? For whatever reason, if you’re now planning on letting your home, here’s our essential to-do list.

1.     Check your lease
If you own a leasehold apartment then, within some blocks, there can be restrictions within your leasehold agreement that prevent you renting out your apartment.

2.     Check your mortgage
Aaron Strutt of broker Trinity Financial says that if you are planning to move out of your property and let it out, you will need permission from your lender. If you don’t, then you may be in breach of your mortgage conditions. “But remember that if they do give you permission to rent it out, your lender may increase the interest rate,” he says.

3.     Get keys cut
Each tenant will need their own set, plus a spare set for yourself and one for your letting agent. We can help organise this.

4.     Finance your next move?
Many house movers release equity from their home by re-mortgaging it as a buy-to-let to finance their next purchase, as well as gaining a property investment and becoming a landlord.

5.     Buy smoke and gas alarms
It is a legal requirement to fit carbon monoxide and smoke alarms within a rented property, although where and how many may need to be fitted will depend on the type and size of your property. We can advise you about this.

6.     Tell the utilities
Remember to tell the gas, telephone, broadband, electricity, water and council tax people when you are moving out so you can pay your final bills before transferring them to the tenants.

7.     Inform your insurer
Ideally landlords must have additional cover for their property when it is rented. This can include public liability insurance in case a tenant or maintenance person is injured inside the property. In addition, some landlords insure themselves against void periods when there is no-one renting the property for long periods, or against the costs of evicting a tenant. 
“When your property is let out, it is important to notify your buildings insurance company to ensure you have the correct cover,” says Aaron Strutt. “The provider may not pay out if your policy is not set up properly.”

8.     Get a gas safety certificate
If your property has a gas boiler then you will need to have an approved engineer visit to check the boiler and its flue and provide you with a Landlord Gas Safety Record, a copy of which must be given to your tenants when they move in. You are also required to service the pipework and other gas equipment such as heaters to ensure they are maintained safely.

9.     Tell your neighbour's
If you know your neighbours well then ask them to keep an eye on the property when you or your letting agent are not on site. They can be an invaluable pair of eyes should a tenancy or the property develop problems.

If you’re looking to let your home in our area, or just want to ask a few more questions, get in touch today.

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