First time landlord? Make sure your property is ready to rent…

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It’s estimated that there are 1.5m landlords in the UK and recent Government red tape has made letting out your home serious business in the UK.

To avoid any pitfalls, follow these simple steps…

  1. Find a good letting agent – they’re worth their weight in GOLD!! Letting agents can help you with marketing the property, finding & screening tenants, preparing the tenancy agreements, recommending the monthly rent to charge, taking the deposit and carrying out an inventory at the start of a tenancy. Bear in mind that there are administration fees for preparing documents and finding tenants, as well as management fees which can be around 10% (plus VAT) of monthly rent, so it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.
  2. Decide what type of tenant you want – This will depend on the size of your property  but some considerations to take into account are – do you allow pets, small children, smokers or tenants that work from home?? Give your agent parameters of what your looking for before signing anything.
  3. Tenancy Terms – Make sure you’re happy with key points in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (standard contract between landlord & tenant) such as term, notice period and if you want a break clause.
  4. Legal Requirements – This responsibility will fall on the agent but as a landlord, you should be up to date with the law on renting your property, such as needing Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate, carbon monoxide alarm as well as a fire alarm. The deposit will have to be put into a recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the tenant will need to be given the Government’s downloadable How to Rent guide.  New right to rent checks also require the landlord/agent to check that tenants have a right to be in the UK.
  5. Make sure it’s clean – Before tenants move in, make sure you hire professional cleaners to give your property a thorough tenancy clean, including ovens, fridge & freezers, showers, windows and light fittings. This will ensure that on check-out, your tenant leaves the property at the same level of cleanliness as when they moved in, otherwise deductions can be made from their deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Rent received by landlords is classed as taxable income and from 6 April 2016, you will no longer be able to claim 10% ‘wear & tear’ costs against your tax bill if you’re letting furnished property. In April 2017, relief on interest will be capped for all landlords at the basic rate of 20%, even if you pay tax at 45%.

With the budget announcement earlier this week, if you’re buying another rental property there will be an additional 3% Stamp Duty under new regulations being introduced by the Government from 1st April 2016.

ProClean Team, a division of The Organised Cleaning Company, provides professional pre & end of tenancy cleaning services to landlords and agents throughout  London & the Home Counties. Contact us today on 020 8742 1808, email us on info@procleanteamltd.co.uk or visit our website.

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