New guide launched for ‘virgin landlords’

“This means they are going it alone without the help of an agent, be it to have control over how the property is managed, or to save on fees. Are these novice landlords truly prepared for everything the job entails?” he added.

mydeposits.co.uk has developed a guide tailored to the needs of new landlords. The guide addresses some of the key things they need to bear in mind:

1.Check your mortgage and leasehold agreements to make sure you are permitted by your contract to let the property before going ahead.
2.Be realistic and flexible about the amount of rent you are asking – better to have some money coming in than an empty flat for weeks on end.
3.Interview prospective clients for suitability, taking care not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, sexuality or religion.
4.If you choose to rent to friends, make sure that you are still covered by a tenancy agreement.
5.Make sure that you know what your legal obligations as a landlord, for example, fire and gas safety standards.
6.By law, a tenancy deposit MUST be protected through a Government-authorised protection scheme, such as mydeposits.co.uk.
7.Clearly specify in the contract the areas of financial responsibility covered by the tenant to avoid any confusion e.g. council tax and utility bills.
8.Just as a tenant cannot terminate their contract early, nor can you.
9.Remember that once the tenant moves in, you will require prior agreement from them to access the property – it is now their home.
10.At the end of the lease, once outstanding bills have been made and repairs accounted for, return the deposit promptly to the tenant.
 "Being a landlord isn’t just about collecting rent every month. There are lots of things to consider before you take the leap as a landlord. For example landlords who fail to comply with the tenancy deposit protection law face considerable risks.

“They could be forced to pay a fine of three times the deposit amount and limits will be placed on their ability to seek possession for as long as the deposit remains unprotected. It’s worth knowing your responsibilities before you set out to avoid any problems in the future. ” concludes Eddie Hooker.

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