Landlords - Beware!

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The ‘buy to let’ market has been booming over the past four years.  As the UK economy began to decline in 2008, many people found getting mortgages to buy property became tough.  As such the rental market started to increase dramatically.  For those investors with cash or the ability to get funding, entering the buy to let market was seen as a way to reap the benefits of rising rents.  Couple this with the demand for property and a buy to let investment seemed a no brainier - but what about the pitfalls?

In order to really be successful in the buy to let market, much depends on the reliability of the tenant under agreement.   As such, it is always worthwhile doing all of the necessary background checks to ensure that the tenant will be able to afford to pay the rent regularly.  In addition, good character references are a must to ensure that the tenant will look after the property.

Landlords - Beware!

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A security deposit is also a must.  These days, landlords must protect the deposit held by the tenant under one of the government schemes.  The deposit is held within the scheme until the tenancy ends, after which it will be released to either the landlord or the tenant, depending on how the tenancy has ended.

For example, if a lot of damage has been done to the property during the tenancy, the deposit should be used to make the necessary repairs or to cover the cost of removing items left behind.
There is nothing worse than letting out a property to a tenant who does not keep it in a good condition.  A good landlord will prepare for this by doing meticulous checks on the tenant before they move in, as well as by performing regular inspections.

The landlord must ensure that all gas safety certificates are in place, and maintained on annual basis.  Often, where the letting of a property is concerned, it can be a headache for the landlord as they should expect to receive calls at any time of the day for repairs and so on.

What about when something goes wrong?  What if the tenant doesn’t pay rent, or if they leave a property in a bad state of repair?  The landlord should take action, and must follow the laws, rules and regulations surrounding the letting of property.  These can be complex and often, legal assistance will be required.

Joan Devlin
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Article written by Joan Devlin, an expert from The Landlord Insurer.

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