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complete beginner

nora newbie

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hi all, have started on the slippery slope to being a landlord.

I am this week having property completely redecorated in magnolia as former person was heavy smoker, am having it cleaned, and have tried to do my best with the garden.

I am going with an agent to manage it. After reading a few horror stories about what tennants get up to I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get good tennants.

just thought i would say hi as I may need some knowledge a bit further down the line

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I am going with an agent to manage it. After reading a few horror stories about what tennants get up to I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get good tennants.

just thought i would say hi as I may need some knowledge a bit further down the line

You shouldn't NEED to keep your fingers crossed. Its your property so its you that should be making the decisions and setting the criteria of what tenants you require. Just because you are using an agent doesn't mean you have to pass all the decision making onto them.........thats probably the worst thing you could do.

Here's my checklist....The most important thing that any potential landlord can do ischoose their tenants very very carefully.

1. Get Referencies.....bank, employer and previouslandlord.

2. Take out rent guarantee insurance.....its not expensive.

3. Get a home owning guarantor. Carry out reference checks on the guarantor.Give the guarantor a copy of the AST. Make sure the guarantor document is drawnup as a deed.

4. Don't let to people with pets or children......the risk of them giving youproblems are big.

5. Don’t let to anyone under 18(minors). Draw up your own limits….I prefer nobody under 25.

6. Don't let to smokers........you won't get rid of the smell.

7. Don’t do Company lets.

8. Don’t let to anyone on Housing Benefits.

8a. If you do choose to let to applicants onHousing Benefit CHECK that your mortgage & freeholder (if your property isleasehold) allows it.

9. Don't let to anyone who isn't working full time.

10. Inspect properties every 3 months.

11. Only let initially on a 6 month AST.....that way you can both part companyafter 6 months if you don't get on.

12. Use a reputable Lettings Agent OR one who has been recommended OR do ityourself (only if you know what to do).

13. Meet your tenants personally. Make sure you ask all the right questions andgauge whether they are right for you.

14. Protect the deposit in one of theofficial schemes.

14a. If you have a dispute with yourtenant(s) over deductions from the deposit remember…..you can either go throughthe DPS adjudication process OR take the tenant to the Small Claims Court forrecovery of your losses where you may have a better chance of success.

15. Issue a section 21 notice as soon as thedeposit has been protected.

16. Make sure there is a detailed inventory& schedule of condition……signed by both parties.

17. Remember its a business....soavoid emotion & being overly sympathetic to your tenants.

18. Read as much as you can aboutrenting & letting i.e. educate yourself.

19. Don’t let to anyone who doesn’tspeak or understand English.

20. Don’t forget that you will needan Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)…….beforeyou market the property.

21. Don’t forget to get an annual GasCertificate.

22. You are responsible for ensuringanything electrical in the property is safe so consider getting the electricschecked professionally….and any appliances you provide.

23. Try to avoid having your propertyclassified as an HMO……meeting regulations is expensive and time consuming.

24. Make sure all adults living atthe property are on the AST & any other documents.

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Hey thanks for the reply.

I am actually intending to do some of that. the company who is letting also lets for someone I know.

After viewing property initially they have suggested a working couple, they suggested no pets which I agree with, and havent decided about the smoking one yet. I will discuss it with them.

They do an initial inspection after 6 weeks and get references etc beforehand. The gas check will be done as will the energy performance, am doing the rent guarantee thing and sadly took the decision not to let to people who are initially on benefits although they way things are people may end up this way,

The letting company will go through inventory with me and I am aware of PAT testing etc

Thanks for mentioning other things that I had not though of. I have read some but dont know all of it and even with the best guarantees I guess you cant control everything just cut down the odds as much as is possible,

But again thanks for the advice

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Nora, It sounds as though you've thought it through and on the right lines.

From reading other threads here, make sure that you have a contract with your letting company that specifies clearly what they say they will do for you for the fee you pay them.

I'd stick out for non-smokers - it's your property (not your agent's!) and makes a lot of difference when it comes to cleaning light fittings and repainting ceilings etc.

The slope's not all slippery.

Good luck!

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