This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate links means that sometimes if you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. All opinions and reviews are my own.
We’re all looking for a money-making scheme. While we may have our full-time jobs to pay the bills and keep ourselves afloat, it’s always beneficial to have a little something on the side to make life a little more comfortable. After all, why work ourselves to the bone if we don’t have time to enjoy ourselves? So, where should you start if you’re looking to earn some serious cash without having to sacrifice our usual work and routine? Sounds impossible, right? Luckily, there are options out there and one of the most popular consistently proves to be property investment. The cost of housing seems to be on a regular rise. This isn’t great for first time home owners who are struggling to get their foot on the property ladder. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to become a fair and reliable landlord, you could do yourself and renters a favour. So, if this sounds good to you, here’s everything you need to know about letting properties.
Choosing a Location
Perhaps the first thing you need to consider when you’re looking into property investment is location. This can prove a lot more complex than you’d initially imagine. You want to avoid gentrification. This is the process of massively renovating a house in a poor area in order to suit it more closely to middle-class standards. Sure, you may think there’s no harm in this. After all, it could merely come across as an improvement. But do you think the people in the local area are then going to be able to afford the cost of your rent? Probably not once you’ve included coverage of renovation costs in the price. This is generally a serious problem when larger firms or multiple individual buyers take part in the process. Local families are pushed out to areas that are more affordable. Young adults can’t afford to move out near to their parents or grandparents who may require their support. So, before buying a property, check out the general going rate of rent in the area. If it’s not up to what you were hoping, try a different area. If you’re looking around your local area, you’re generally going to know what the houses are like, what people expect from a property and how much they’d expect to pay. However, if you head further afield, or decide to buy overseas in properties like those listed at https://rumahdijual.com/jakarta-pusat/apartemen-murah, you’ll have to prepare to spend a little more time conducting research and getting to know the area.
Achieving High Health and Safety Standards
When it comes to health and safety, many landlords will stick to the bare minimum legal requirements. They want to make as much profit as possible, so don’t necessarily want to fork out for extras. At the same time, they don’t want legal disputes taken out against them, so will ensure that they cover their backs with what is necessary. But as we are all sadly aware, the law does not necessarily cover people’s basic needs. Just take a look at the Grenfell Towers incident in London, England. While the building met minimal legal requirements, seventy-one lives were lost when a small fire quickly spread around the building, trapping tenants inside in an inferno. So, it’s important that you follow your own moral compass as well as meeting legal requirements when you install health and safety equipment on the property you intend to let. Here are a few different things to consider.
First things first: smoke detectors. It is absolutely necessary for smoke detectors to be present in any property that you intend to let out. There should be at least one on each floor. If you’re letting out rooms separately to multiple individuals, you may like to consider installing one in each room. Encourage your tenants to check the alarms regularly. If they notice that the alarm doesn’t set off when they burn food or in other situations where smoke is present, ensure that the batteries are changed.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is an invisible threat. It is a poisonous gas with no smell or taste, so its presence generally cannot be detected by humans. If individuals have carbon monoxide poisoning, the outlook isn’t great. It mixes with the haemoglobin in your bloodstream once breathed in which prevents your blood cells from carrying blood efficiently. This can prove fatal. So install a carbon monoxide detector in the property too. This could quite literally save a life.
Gas can also pose a problem. However, its presence is generally more simply detectable. You need to ensure that any gas fittings or appliances in the property are kept in good order, keeping records of regular safety checks. This includes the boiler.
Electrics hold the potential to shock tenants. So call out a professional electrician the moment that an electrical fault is reported. You also need to maintain or replace any electrical appliances that you supply to the tenant. If possible, keep instruction manuals for their use.
Damp, condensation and mould are common problems in damper environments. Not only does damp look unappealing, but it creates a relatively unhealthy living space. To prevent damp problems, ensure that the property is completely watertight. This means checking the roof, sealing cracks in external walls, and that cracked window panes are replaced, and the frames are effectively sealed.
Stick as Closely to Your Original Contact as Possible
Sure, times change, and the prices of things go up. But try to keep as close to the original terms of your contract with your tenant as possible. Once you’ve let someone move into the property, you’ve provided them with the space that they will come to call home. If you notice other landlords in the area are massively increasing their costs, don’t jump on the bandwagon. You may be able to find another tenant who will pay more. But that means pushing your current tenant out and creating huge upheaval in their life. That or they’ll try to keep up with increased payments and forgo other aspects of their lifestyle. If you could afford to make a profit from your original agreement, try to be content with it. Only up prices in line with inflation, or (if necessary) when one tenant moves out, and you’re advertising for a new tenant to come in.
If you scroll through any independent lettings sites, you’ll notice that the majority of properties have a strict no-pets policy. This is understandable. Many landlords worry about unruly or untrained pets damaging their property. But realistically, your average pet is no less likely to cause any more serious damage than a child. Pets are a part of the family, and a lot of people will not leave theirs behind. This is good. Pets are a lifelong responsibility and deserve to be cared for unconditionally by their owners. So don’t contribute to the hundreds and thousands of animals handed over to rescue shelters each year. Consider allowing pets on your property. If you are particularly worried, you can get your tenants to sign a contract agreeing to have any damages caused by pets taken out of their deposit at the end of their contract.
Speaking of deposits, many landlords will take advantage of having a hold of their tenant’s deposit. They may scour the property at the end of the contract looking for areas that they can use as an excuse to retain a portion of the deposit that is in their accounts. Avoid this. Be as reasonable as possible. There are certain things that you will have to do anyway before putting the property back on the market in search of a new tenant. For example, repainting walls and deep cleaning carpets. So don’t try to get your tenant to cover the costs by pointing out a mark on a wall or on a section of flooring that would have been cleaned easily and effectively regardless. If you are particularly bothered about certain things, let the tenant know at the start of their contract. If you don’t want to spend time cleaning blutac marks on the walls, then let them know that they cannot use blutac. It’s as simple as that. They’ll have fair warning, and it will save you time and effort down the line.
In short, to be as ethical a landlord as possible, try as hard as you can to place people above profit. Sure, the allure of extra cash may be tempting. But if you have sufficient funds to have a mortgage on a property other than the one you live in, you’re in a pretty well off position. So be kind and compassionate and look out for those who may not be quite so fortunate. Many people’s livelihoods depend on private renting. So, make things as simple for them as possible. Once you have people living on your property, bear in mind that this is now their home. Be as flexible as possible while maintaining a professional relationship. Ensure that the property is safe and one that you’d be comfortable living in yourself. Finally, bear in mind that the role of landlord entails a whole lot of responsibility, so make sure that you are entirely dedicated to the project before diving into the deep end.