In the UK, private renting is becoming more and more popular, and is steadily becoming the new normal for a lot of people. This increase in demand has led a lot of people to becoming landlords themselves, and if you’re interested in taking the plunge, we’ve wrote up this little guide to see if it’s right for you, and to help you get started.

Why is becoming a landlord a good idea?

If you’re trying to decide whether to sell or let out a property, it can be a difficult choice to make. However, if you’re in a position to let out a property, it can benefit you in a variety of ways; rents have risen by 14.5% since 2011, according to the office of national statistics. Not only does this provide you with an easy way to generate a bit of passive income, but it also serves as a clever way to protect your assets and can often work better than savings rates. Recently, savings rates have dropped to their lowest point in history, whilst house prices across the UK have risen by almost 6%.

Make no mistake – most landlords are in it for the long term, and it does require commitment, but with support from AP Morgan’s team, especially with our fully managed service, it is easily managed in your spare time.

You are ready to become a landlord. Is your property ready to be let out?

Of course, the best way to find out if your property is suitable to be let out would be to call up and get a free, no obligation valuation from one of our lettings valuation managers. However, there are a couple things you can consider before giving us a call.

Does it have to be a flat?

In times gone by rentals were often seen as exclusively the domain of smaller townhouses, flats, or apartments. It may surprise you to find out that in modern Britain, one in five families live in rented accommodation, meaning there is a much higher demand for larger, suburban properties than there used to be.

Should you provide furniture?

This is entirely up to you – on one hand, a furnished property may justify a higher monthly rental value and makes it even more attractive to people who don’t have much furniture of their own (e.g. young people moving out of home, students, etc) however, it’s worth noting it may put some people off the property if they do not like the furniture (after all, this is down to personal taste) or have too much furniture of their own. Also consider that any furniture or appliances you leave in the property could be your responsibility to fix, replace, or repair if they break or malfunction in the future.

Should you allow pets?

Many landlords simply put a blanket ban across all pets in a property, however often it can be a selling point for prospective tenants. We recommend looking at this on a case-by-case basis. Whilst a large dog may cause damage to the property or furniture, a small animal like a cat or a guinea pig would be less of an issue.

Should tenants be allowed to smoke in the property?

We always heavily discourage allowing tenants to smoke in any properties. Not only is it a health hazard to themselves and anyone entering the property, but it is also a fire hazard, and will likely leave a lasting impact on your property and furniture in the future, costing you time and money to clean up.

Other responsibilities of a landlord

The responsibilities of a landlord essentially cover everything you need to do in order to protect your property, and make sure your tenants remain happy and secure. There are more than simply what we mention in this guide, but we will point you to the correct government resources on your lettings valuation appointment. We always recommend sorting out your insurance first to protect your property against any accidental damage – there’s no need to provide contents insurance unless you are providing furniture, as the tenant will be able to arrange their own contents insurance to protect their possessions.

Landlords are also responsible for the majority of repairs on the property and ensuring that any furniture and/or appliances that you provide are kept in good condition, including replacing them if needed. With AP Morgan’s Fully Managed Plus service, we’re able to look after all of these repairs and maintenance on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry.

The other main thing you will need to be sure on is that your property is up to code, and if it’s not, what steps you need to take to make it so. This includes things like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and meeting energy performance standards. This is an important part of the lettings process, and our lettings team is more than happy to spend the time with you on this to ensure everything is done correctly.

Your next steps

Looking to see what happens next in your journey? Take a look at our lettings services page to find out everything we can do for you, what we do on your lettings valuation appointment, and what kind of service would be best for you. We’re looking forward to speaking with you soon!