The 5 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Landlord

The 5 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Landlord

Renting out or leasing houses, apartments, and land to individuals and businesses can be very rewarding when you know the right thing to do. Have you thought about becoming a landlord? Well, it certainly isn’t as easy because even leaving out the tiniest of aspects could cause you problems now or in the future, especially with all the legalities that are involved. If you’ve considered becoming a landlord, these are the 5 things you should consider on your journey to becoming a landlord.

  1. Prepare your property

Before making your property available, it needs to be ready for tenants to move in. Making it ready should get you thinking along the lines of-Are you presenting the property as an already furnished house or not? If not, then you should choose what stays and what goes. Remove any valuable or sentimental items because you not only could risk losing them, but you may find that some clients don’t like the idea of a house that still has someone else’s personal belongings.

As you’re doing this, also remember that it’s your property, so you decide on the type of tenants you prefer. Say you choose to rent out the house to a family, not much will be required here because chances are, they already have their furniture so there’s no need for an already furnished house. Also, take into account that families usually mean having an increased number of occupants. This also means more noise and increased chances of property damage plus hidden expenses. Is this something you can manage? On the flip side, renting out the property to a single individual or university student may require you to furnish the house because it’s unlikely that they’ve accumulated furniture at this time of their life.

Once you have an idea of your preferred tenants, also make sure the property is clean and check if anything’s broken, have it fixed so that the house appears nice and ready for rent.

Ensure to take note of lease terms because they’re important. For example, is the rental contract going to be month to month or there is another time? Are you allowed to evict a tenant when they’ve failed to pay rent or violated the terms of the lease? Different rules concern each of these.

  1. Get a Landlord license

Holding the right property license is a legal requirement and shows that your property is suitable for occupation and is on an acceptable standard. A landlord license allows you to be on the right side of the law. You will need to check in with your local council and find out how you can apply for a landlord license. Such regulations also ensure that landlords maintain their property to a certain standard.

  1. Safety is vital

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility that your tenants feel safe residing in your property. This means that all windows and doors must be secure and working properly. The doors especially can be made of heavy-duty materials such as steel or solid wood which are difficult to smash or break down. All gas appliances must be checked by a gas registered engineer each year. Smoke alarms can be installed in case of a fire outbreak. This does not only protect your tenants but it’s also the best way of protecting your investment. 

Install secure locks and deadbolt locks. One lock isn’t useful anymore, it’s vital to add a second one and most preferably a double cylinder deadbolt. In addition, you may add peepholes to front doors or entrance doors. Through these, they can keep an eye on any suspicious activity outside the house. Most important in the safety area is to always change locks between tenants.

  1. Tenancy/Rental agreement

A Tenancy Agreement is a contract that’s usually written between a tenant and their landlord to have temporary possession of the property. It specifies the terms of the rental or temporary possession of the property. Why is one needed? Tenancy agreements aren’t legal requirements however, they are there just so the landlord and tenants are clear on what each of their rights is. These rights range from the tenant's right to occupy the building to the landlord receiving rent for accommodation.

There are also types of tenancy agreements that is a written tenancy agreement where most tenants don’t have a right in law to a tenancy agreement. This contract should be signed by the tenant and landlord. It includes your name and landlord's name, date tenancy began, duration of the tenancy, amount of rent payable, other services the landlord will provide among others. The other is the verbal tenancy agreement. Here, a verbal agreement is between you and the landlord. It includes how much rent is payable if there are restrictions on other people living with you among other things. The only problem is that it’s harder to prove what was agreed if it wasn’t written.

  1. Regular inspections

As a landlord, you need to make regular inspections of your building for several reasons. Before doing this though, the tenant's permission is needed otherwise you may be trespassing, which is considered illegal. Regular house inspections will help take care of maintenance and repairs, alterations, improvements, and lease violations.

Proper landlord inspections involve giving prior notice (24-48 hours) before accessing the premises, use professionalism and respect tenant privacy, document routine inspections, be smart and responsible as you do this. Avoid showing up unexpectedly, giving vague notices, or breaching a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

Final Thoughts

Considering these five simple things is vital otherwise you may sacrifice unnecessary money, time, and stress. Remember that this is your personal property and probably your biggest asset so doing enough research is very key.  As a first-time Landlord Billing Better services are a great resource to have for you and your tenants to help across all your utility needs so you only need to worry about the more important things. Book a demo today with our team and learn how we assist you -