A lot of people dream of working for themselves – and by taking the plunge, investing in property and becoming a landlord, you could do just that. As with any sort of freedom, being a landlord does not come without its responsibilities – and there are a fair few of them at that.
Becoming a landlord is a big step, and can be an extremely financially rewarding one at that, but if you’re planning on doing it it’s best to know what you’re getting into, so that you can be as prepared as you possibly can. If you’re a new landlord, or you’re simply thinking of getting into the business, here is some advice that you should follow.
Treat Your Rental like a Business
If you don’t treat your rental property as a business, you won’t succeed and it’s as simple as that. Although there are quick sale companies to fall back on nowadays such as Ready Steady Sell, the last thing you want is to have to end up selling on your investment, so take care of it, and it’ll take care of you.
Although it might seem like a side job (even if it makes up all of your income), really as a landlord you are managing and running a small business. Therefore it’s important to think of it in that way, and treat it accordingly.
As with any successful business, keeping your finances in check, following protocol and keeping your clients (tenants in this case!) happy is the key to success. Of course, there are also laws, rules and regulations you have to follow and abide to in order to be providing a safe service, so ensure you’re following all of these or you could be heavily fined.
The best thing you can do in the early days, is purchase some landlord insurance. Even if you’re in a situation where you’re lucky enough to know and trust the people who are renting your property, you never know what’s around the corner. Accidents happen, and appliances break, and if you’re not insured for such things, then you’re likely to find yourself with some hefty expenses in the future.
A good way of trying to prevent these things happening, is by preparing for them as much as you possible can in advance. Here are just a few of the safety checks you should be carrying out BEFORE you move tenants in:
Find Your Tenants using the Internet
Nowadays, you can do just about anything on the internet more efficiently than you could in any other way, and that’s just a fact.
That being said, did you know that if you’re looking for tenants, this is the place you’re going to be most likely to find them successfully? Whereas once upon a time newspaper ads and “to let” signs were the winners, nowadays you just can’t beat the internet.
You can, however, use online listing websites in order to promote the rental. This means you’re going through a legitimate organisation and are therefore more likely to obtain serious people of interest. The best way of gaining interest, is by making sure your pictures are HD and show the property off to its best. You can describe it as much as you want in the caption, however the first thing people undoubtedly notice online are pictures – otherwise they’re likely to just keep on scrolling. The better the property looks in the pictures, the more interest you’ll get and the easier you’ll find a tenant. It’s as simple as that.
Set the Rent at a Fair Price
Last of all, but by no means least, ensure that you’re setting the rental at an appropriate price.
If there are other properties up for rent in the area (your competition), that are the same size, quality and condition as your property and yet they charge lower monthly rent, chances are people are going to choose to rent these properties over yours. Much like the world of property selling, people like to feel they’re getting a good deal, and if you overcharge then they won’t be interested. Do yourself a favour, find out the average rental price, and be a competitor.