Becoming a landlord for the first time is an exciting prospect, with not only the opportunity to bring in some additional income but also the chance to expand your portfolio further and perhaps even start up your own property business.
However, it can be tricky to know where to start once you have invested in your first property and you don’t want to be making too many costly mistakes.
Fortunately, you can avoid the most common landlord pitfalls by simply following our seven essential tips for new landlords.
1. Do your groundwork
Before you start to market your rental property and look for potential tenants, if you haven’t done so already, you first need to research the local area thoroughly.
Is your property near good local schools? Is it near a university or college?
This can be helpful in deciding what type of tenants your property will appeal to, for example, families, students or working professionals.
It is also a good idea to find out how much similar properties in the area are currently renting for, as this can act as a benchmark for your own chosen monthly rental price.
2. Take out insurance
Although landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for renting out a property, it is highly recommended as it covers everything from accidental damage to structural issues caused by hazards such as fire, snow or strong winds.
You may also want to take out rent guarantee insurance which protects you if your tenant fails to pay their rent. It can also cover the cost of any legal fees if you need to evict a tenant.
Your tenants are responsible for taking out their own content insurance to cover their belongings.
3. Find reliable tenants
One of the easiest ways to find good tenants is through word of mouth. Speak to your family, friends and work colleagues to see if they are aware of anyone who is looking to rent a property. You can also advertise for tenants on a variety of reputable websites or use a letting agency.
To attract the best possible tenants, ensure your listing describes the property in full and includes good quality photographs as well as advertising your property at a competitive market rate.
You should always check a potential tenant’s rental history and credit score, as well as perform a criminal background check. If the results are preferable, it now comes down to your natural instincts.
How do you feel about the tenant in question? Do you feel like you can trust them?
If yes, you’ve found your first tenants. Congratulations!
4. Create a tenancy agreement
Once you have found your tenants, you now need to draw up a written tenancy agreement which details all the terms and conditions of the tenancy and gives you as the landlord, and your tenants rights.
This is extremely important as it will ensure the protection of your property, set out the obligations of your tenants and help prevent any future disputes.
If you have found your tenants through a professional letting agency, the tenancy agreement can be professionally drawn up through the agent.
5. Place the deposit in a TDP scheme
Landlords are now legally required to place their tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. This was created to stop rogue landlords from refusing to give back their tenants’ deposits after they have moved out.
You must place your tenant’s deposit in a scheme within 14 days of receiving it and you also have to inform your tenants of which scheme you have chosen within 30 days.
6. Ensure your property is energy efficient
You should also strive to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to reach the minimum energy efficiency standard (effective April 2020).
Ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient include:
Upgrading your boiler
Sealing windows and doors
Installing double glazing
Installing loft and wall cavity insulation
Using energy efficient lightbulbs
Installing smart meters
Since April 2016, tenants have the right to ask their landlords to make their properties more energy efficient, and furthermore, as a landlord, you are legally required to make adequate improvements.
7. Maintain a good relationship with your tenants
Arguably one of the most important aspects of becoming a good landlord is ensuring that you are able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. Effective communication, on both sides, is crucial if you want to avoid any problems or disputes.
Try and respond as quickly as possible to any requests from your tenants and listen to any concerns that they may have. Once you find reliable tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, you don’t want to lose them!
If you are considering letting your property in South Derbyshire call our team at Scoffield Stone on 01283 777100 for friendly help and advice on all rental aspects.
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"Paul Morris from Scoffield Stone was exceptional he gave us awesome service and can only highly recommend them." - Joanna Mead
"Excellent professional service from the first contact to completion. Highly recommended. Having rented through Scoffield Stone for 12 years we decided to use them for the...
A pleasure to deal with
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Really great agents
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"Claire & Alex - you’ve all been absolutely class with what was a crazy stressful experience. Handled it all very well and we’re always there to pick up the phone too....
"Sally and Lisa have both been so friendly, responsive and helpful since I moved into the property a few weeks ago. The shower was leaking and they had a plumber out in less than 24...
Friendly, responsive and helpful
"A massive thank you to the team at Hilton. My process was complicated, but they were always patient and professional to me, even though I was on the phone/email checking progress daily. You...
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"I can't speak highly enough of the experience with the sales team at Scoffield Stone. From the initial valuation with Paul, to getting photographs taken at the property put swiftly on the...
Feel in very safe hands
Fantastic and great to work with especially Claire Holmes who we can’t thank enough. Couldn’t of been more helpful. Great service, genuinely a pleasure to work with....
Fantastic and great to work with
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"I found Scoffield Stone to be an excellent service as a seller from the initial conversations and putting the property on the market through to the completion. They carried out all my...
Always there to answer my questions
Friendly team, quick to respond to queries and usually available on the phone. Turned around details quickly to get onto the market. Great website for tracking status updates. Sarah Millican
Quick to respond
Top drawer really pleased kept us going for years. Great service thank you! Andy Proctor
From valuation to sale completion Paul and his team were extremely professional. They kept me updated throughout the sale progression. I wouldn’t hesitate in using their services again or...
Just sold our home using Scofield Stone and would highly recommend them to anyone who is selling, the staff were always on the ball and responded to queries very quickly with very little fuss!...
Always on the ball
I would highly recommend Scoffield Stone 100%!! They are knowledgeable, proficient and kept me sane throughout the whole process of selling my home. From start to finish, they promptly dealt with...
Above and beyond
Lovely, friendly staff S Hanley
Lovely, friendly staff
The team at Scoffield’s went above & beyond with repeated efforts to facilitate the sale of our home during a difficult period due to Covid & not the most straight forward of sales...
Truly amazing from beginning to end
I was really impressed when I found Scoffield Stone did the homework like property history, valuation of other houses in the area when he came to value our property. It was...
Did the homework
I recently sold my property through Scoffield Stone, throughout the process they were very efficient, multiple viewings and an offer within the first week. Paul and the Hilton team...
Offer within the first week
Can’t thank Paul and his team especially Claire for all their hard work with my house sale. It’s been a long process and they have kept me up to date every step of the way - highly...
Kept me up to date every step of the way
Always a friendly and professional service from Paul and his team, I've received good advice and help over many years. Would recommend as agents for landlords. Anonymous
Good advice and help
We cannot thank Victoria enough for all the help and support she gave throughout our move; she always had time to answer questions and calm our nerves! Very professional and also...
Great service from Paul and the team at Scoffield Stone. We feel that we benefited from their skill and experience at every step of the process, especially at the end. The right...
Skills and experience
They're a friendly team. Always try to help and are very flexible. They were willing to come up with helpful solutions in the difficult situations covid posed to us living far from the house we...
A friendly team
Perfect estate agent went round a property. They were professional wore masks and sanitise and cleaned the areas when we entered and left . Cam
Perfect estate agent
Excellent supportive handling of the very quick sale of our property with great sales details J Pattison
I must say I’m really impressed with your service. I’m so used to people saying they’re going to phone me back and never do, or not staying true to their word. I think the...
Restored my Faith in Human Nature
We have been very happy with Paul's service as well as his team's. They were extremely responsive and understanding of our position. We feel we were good negotiators on our behalf. They...
Responsive and Understanding
A big thank you to Victoria,Claire,Alex and Paul we have dealt twice with Scoffieldstone both buying and selling and they have been so helpful nothing too much trouble from photos...
Nothing too much trouble
We are very glad we chose Scoffield Stone to look after the sale of our property. They made a really good job of photographing and promoting our property and taking care of the viewings for us....
Glad we chose Scoffield Stone
Harriet, Morgan an Me are so happy in this house it’s so nice everything is perfect. One of my friends told me about Scoffield Stone an she was right, from the start to the finish you...
Helped Me So Much
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Kindness and patience
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Breath of fresh air
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"Pleasure to deal with Paul and his staff over the past 8 years. Always helpful and available for advice when we needed it. Look forward to working with you again over the next few years"...
Pleasure to deal with
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They all do a great job!
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Nothing was too much trouble
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