Are you planning on letting property in London the first time but don’t quite know where to start? This quick guide to 8 of the most important factors to take into consideration will help make the process as hassle free and easy for you as possible.
1. Get consents
If you are letting a property that has a current mortgage, you must ask the permission of the relevant lender. If the house is under leasehold, then you must consult the holder of the freehold. Not doing this can result in sticky situations including penalties or even loss of the property down the line which you don’t want to have to worry about dealing with.
2. Take out landlords insurance
The insurance you have on your property won’t cover a multitude of potential issues that may arise, so this must be one of the first things you do. Tenants will be expecting all appliances to be fully insured if any damages occurred, for example
3. Consider people on housing benefit
It’s been said that in 10 years, London will no longer have any council housing available to those on benefits and to whom require accommodation. As this becomes a more normal practice, it is likely to become reliable benefit to you as it is the government who will feel the added pressure to ensure that council tenants live up to the responsibilities they have towards London landlords
4. Be aware of benefit cuts
The welfare cap that arrived could have potentially left council tenants out of pocket. Each year it is worth keeping up to date on what kinds of changes are taking place to the benefits system if you are renting to council tenants.
5. Be wise about who you are letting to
Despite the legal issues with letting out a room long-term to someone without jumping through the necessary hoops, people who opt to take shortcuts and find accommodation through sites such as Craigslist are likely to be as reliable as those who go through regular reputable professionals such as Leo Newman
6. Be prepared to bargain
This might seem like a stress inducing tactic but in the long run, any increase in rent you can secure from your tenant is going to result in profit for you in the long run. It can also make fixing future issues far less stressful for yourself, such as replacing damaged furniture because you will already have some spare cash put away.
7. Get references from your tenants
There are tons of ways of getting references from your tenants, whether that’s asking them directly or even doing a quick background check online by Googling them. Some landlords have been known to opt for a different way and write down the potential tenants licence plate numbers if they arrive in a car to view the property, as just an example. Some will also scour tenants’ bank statements for any anomalies that may indicate they are financially unreliable or unstable. You can find more tips on how to go about this with a bit of online research.
8. Asses how much furniture you should provide
If you are letting to a group of sharers, in a lot of cases they will be happy to split the costs and provide furnishings between them so you could end up losing out if you offer a furnished property up front. If you do save on furnishings, they can then be switched to a different property or sold all together, making yourself some money. In London you will have a lot of students looking to rent properties in groups so this is worth bearing in mind.