Becoming a landlord isn’t easy. It’s not a career choice that should be made without genuine thought and consideration. Many people become landlords to capitalise on solvency or as an investment for the future. If you’re considering becoming a landlord at some point, here are the 5 things you need to know first.
1. There are rules which you must follow
This is an absolute must. When you become a landlord, it’s imperative that you understand what rules and laws you must follow. It’s also important to scratch up on your rights and the rights of your tenants. Ask yourself the following:
- Do you know what you can and cannot ask when interviewing potential tenants?
- Do you know how to handle a security deposit?
- Do you know what your responsibilities are for property upkeep?
- Do you know how to go about evicting a problem tenant
As a landlord, there’s many more questions you’ll find yourself asking. It’s imperative to know where your position is in the eyes of the law.
2. Being a landlord isn’t a normal job
Being a landlord isn’t a 9 to 5 job. You may be you own boss and you may enjoy your independence. This doesn’t mean your working day isn’t altered and changed by others. At any moment, a tenant can call you with a major issue and no matter what, it’s your responsibility to resolve that issue. The severity obviously affects the time frame you can take to respond. If there’s a major issue which needs to be resolved immediately, it’s up to you to deal with it or call in someone who can. Your days will be unstructured and spontaneous. Be prepared for a tenant’s call at the most inconvenient of moments.
3. Your job title goes further than just ‘landlord’
The best landlords do far more than that which naturally falls within the remit of the job title. In fact, you role will go far more than you could initially expect. Here are a few professions that your time as a landlord could prepare you for:
- A lettings agent – this one’s pretty obvious. If you’re a private landlord, you’ll find yourself doing all the jobs of a lettings agent.
- Salesman/woman – there’ll come a time when showing potential tenants around your property will seem more like a sales pitch than a viewing.
- Negotiator – okay so this one is very similar to the salesperson. There will come a point when tenants will attempt to negotiate with you. Be firm but fair.
- Debt Collector – this one’s pretty obvious too. Is someone not paying their rent? You need to know how to deal with this.
- Handyman – your tenant needs something fixed and you’d rather do it yourself than pay someone external. Better start learning how.
- Therapist – Your tenant’s just broken up with their long term partner, lost their job and can’t make the rent payments. Be prepared for a teary phone call coming your way.
- Detective – Someone’s applied to rent your property. Time to do some digging and detective work. Referencing, credit checks and general questioning should give you enough evidence about your potential new tenant’s renting habits.
4. Expect a learning curve
When you’re a landlord, no matter how much research you’ve done, you’ll always be surprised. Expect small issues to linger for a while and then expect major problems to suddenly dominate much of your waking life. Thankfully, the longer you do this job, the more likely you are to recognise potential complications. You’ll also learn after a few bad tenants, which warning flags you should look out for and what circumstances breed disaster.
5. Hard work is rewarding
Whatever your own personal goals may be, being a landlord can help you achieve them. As a landlord, you’ll get freedom, money and power. If you make enough, you can even grow your own mini empire of properties. Put the hard work in and benefit from the rewards further down the line.
If you’re a landlord concerned about the headache of inventories, find out how No Letting Go’s services can remove the stress from the process.
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