Could you become an accidental Landlord?

Whether you’ve inherited a home, or moved in with a partner; if you find you now have a “spare” property - could you become an accidental landlord

The Private Rented Sector saw a rise in the number of accidental landlords during the financial crash of 2008 as some decided to rent out, rather than to sell their property.  And whilst there is no current threat of a similar downturn in the property market, the economic uncertainty does mean some are hesitating to put their property up for sale. Therefore, if you’d rather not sell right now, then you could find that becoming a landlord provides an additional source of income, until the current uncertainty has passed.

Where to start

Take an objective look at your property to ascertain whether it needs any repairs. The annoying door handle which sticks, or the cupboard door which has almost fallen off is only going to get worse when a tenant moves in.

You should also decide whether the home could do with a lick of paint, new carpets or even a refreshed bathroom or kitchen. These improvements could ensure the property is rented faster and can secure a higher rent.

To furnish or not

If the property has some left-over furniture you could be tempted to offer it for rent furnished. However, consider this carefully because there are regulations you will need to comply with.  For example, the sofa must be fire-resistant, and must have still have the fire safety label attached.

Get an Energy Performance Certificate

It is now a legal requirement that a property must have an energy rating of at least an E before it can be let to a private tenant.  If you have the property assessed and it has a poor rating, then the assessor will provide some guidance about how to increase the energy efficiency of the property - which could be something as simple as installing a draft excluder. 

Service the boiler

The boiler needs to be serviced every year, and the Gas Safety Certificate must be passed to the tenant before the property is let.

Appoint a letting agent

Some landlords decide to go it alone. However, choosing a professional letting agents to let and manage the property for you can help to ensure your experience as a landlord is a positive one.

At Darlows we can guide you through the process of becoming a landlord.  For example: we’ll explain what you need to do if the property is in an area which is subject to a selective licensing scheme; help you find suitable tenants; and draw up all of the agreements for you. We’ll also ensure the deposit is properly protected and ensure that the paperwork in place before the tenancy starts.

All of our branches have ARLA qualified staff, ensuring you and your property will be in expert hands.