Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Reluctant Landlords

The current economic climate is having a significant affect on  the housing market today in such a way that buyers with large deposits and sound buying criteria are thin on the ground. I am therefore, being contacted on a regular basis by estate agents and solicitors that have properties sitting on their books and unfortunately no interested buyers or even viewers.
With the nights drawing in and the winter months fast approaching, the market is further slowing. Sellers with vacant properties that have costly liabilities such as council tax and utility bills, are more often than not turning to the rental market to remove these crippling expenses. This is obviously not the route sellers would have originally planned but it offers an extremely viable and suitable alternative, either on a short or longer-term basis, allowing sellers to achieve an ultimate goal. Having a secure tenant in situ on a 6 month short assured tenancy is better than 6 months of extras bills to pay.
Reluctant landlords must be willing to listen to professional advice when it comes to renting out their property. The decor and furniture may be fine for the sales particulars and selling the property but more often than not to secure a tenant neutral decor and minimal furnishings are required. It pains me when owners think that grannies old sofa, chairs and worn carpet from the 1960’s create an attractive property for students or young professionals. It’s very important to research what type of tenant you want in your property and prepare the property for that market.  Potentially spending one month’s rent kicking the property into shape is better than having the property empty throughout the winter and beyond.
Becoming a landlord is not just as simple as dropping the keys off with your local property manager or sticking an advert in the local newsagents window. There is numerous legislation that landlords must abide by and ignoring legislation because you are only doing this part time until the selling market picks up could land you in alot of trouble should problems arise during a tenancy.  Gas safety and electric certificates must be obtained along with installing main smoke detectors and having Energy Performance Certificates completed. Landlords must also register with the Landlord Registration scheme run by the local council. Any professional letting agent will be able to take care of your registrations and certificates.
It is important that tenancies are set up correctly. Once a suitable tenant is found, appropriate references must be taken, AT5 forms and Lease documents must be signed by both parties and an inventory must be completed and agreed before a tenancy commences. Routine inspections need arranged and carried out to ensure that tenants are not letting the property deteriorate.
Should you be considering renting your property for a minimum period of 6 months please feel free to contact me directly at ACE Property Management to discuss options and have any questions answered.

1 comment:

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