Can you really self manage?
A simple question with many and various answers. Self managing is not for everyone as you need to be very hands on and constantly aware of the changes to regulations!
There are 4 distinct benefits to managing your own property/portfolio:
- You are in charge of your costs, especially any agents fees.
- You are in control of both the management and maintenance of your property, therefore you can budget more efficiently and know when bills will come in – there should be fewer surprises!
- You get your own satisfaction of knowing you have done a good job and made someone else’s life better by doing so. If your communication is effective, you should obtain excellent customer satisfaction.
- You have peace of mind knowing that everything is under your control and your property is being well managed with a happy tenant.
All well and good, but do be aware of the many pitfalls awaiting you, in the ever expanding legal minefield surrounding landlord and tenant law. Also consider if you have the time, inclination and personality to undertake this sometimes very labour intensive exercise. Could your time be spent more profitably elsewhere?
The Basics a Private Landlord needs to consider
There are various basic items that as a landlord need to be planned for before letting a property out to a tenant:
- Does the property have an in date EPC (energy performance certificate) and is it at a level of E or higher?
- If a prospective tenant has been selected, has the Right to Rent check been carried out properly and recorded?
- Is a professional reference to be undertaken on the tenant to check on employment, job contracts and income details, CCJs and rental history?
- Does the property have a valid and in date gas certificate?
- Has a health and risk assessment been done on the property to note any danger points?
- Have the electrics been checked or visually inspected?
- Is there a professional inventory and condition of property with accompanying photographs?
- Are all of the legal documents and leaflets ready to give out?
- Has the deposit prescribed information been signed and given to the tenant?
- Has a proper, legally worded and binding agreement (AST) been drawn up?
- If a deposit has been taken has it been registered within the 30 day period and the tenant notified?
- Have the utilities been informed of the new bill payer?
These are just a few of the relevant points that need to be prepared in order to successfully let a property. All are vital in keeping both landlord and tenant compliant and safe!
Are you Aware of the Myriad of Laws Governing Property Maintenance?
There are seven main areas that must be understood to be legally compliant and keep you, the property and your tenant safe!
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (S11-17)
- The Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Pt III)
- The Defective Premises Act 1972
- The Equality Act 2010
- The Deregulation Act 2015
- Section 21
Understanding the relevant sections will protect all parties and make sure the right person, who is suitably qualified and certified with the correct insurances is able to do the job. This will avoid any misunderstandings, time delays, poor communication issues, bad workmanship, and improper repair being undertaken.
Failing to take into account any of the above could potentially lead to a fine and ultimately, being placed on the Rogue Landlord database.
Sunshine offer a newsletter service for Landlords, to keep you up to date on everything you need to be aware of. Have a look at our Sunny Club newsletter page to sign up.