Top Tips For New Landlords

With Many home owners deciding to rent their homes out instead of selling The Money Centre has provided a list of top tips to help landlords stay within the law.

The top tips to renting out your property are:

Speak to your lender – your mortgage lender needs to know you are renting out your home. Some lenders will allow this but the majority won’t. Speak to a buy-to-let mortgage broker such as The Money Centre who can help you change your mortgage over to a buy-to-let mortgage to be on the safe side.

Insurance – you need specialist landlords insurance on your property when renting your property out to tenants, at least buildings if not contents as well should you have it rented out furnished.

Tenancy deposit scheme – this is now a legal requirement. For all tenancy agreements that started on or after the 6 April 2007 landlords are required to protect their tenants’ deposit using one of the Government Authorised schemes. Within 14 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord is required to inform the tenant of how it is protected. There are three schemes to choose from.

Gas certificate – this is a legal requirement. You will need a new Corgi certificate each year, a copy must be left with your tenants for their records. Contact a certified Corgi registered gas engineer.

Energy Performance Certificate – effective from the 1st October 2008, landlords will have to make an energy efficiency performance certificate available to prospective tenants as part of the lettings process.

The certificate, which will be valid for 10 years, rates the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G, and makes recommendations for improvement. The most energy efficient homes are in a band A.

Landlords will not be under any obligation to follow any recommendation in the EPC or carry out work in improve the energy efficiency of their property. However, it is worth considering that tenants may use the certificate to help them choose which property to rent, making higher rated properties more desirable.

The EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent. EPC’s can only be produced as a result of a survey by an ‘accredited’ Domestic Energy Assessor. They are used to collect standard information on the property including its size, how it is constructed and its hot water and heating systems. There are a wide range of companies qualified to produce EPC’s.

Tax return – as a landlord you are now running a business, you will need to complete a tax return. Any good accountant should be able to advise you and help you with the paperwork involved. Inland Revenue can come after you years after you may have stopped renting the property or even sold it so don’t forget this tip!