If you’re looking for a viable business idea, then becoming a landlord might be just the ticket. Property prices are expected to rise sharply again soon, so now could be the time to buy. If buying another property isn’t on the cards for you right now, then letting out your existing property could still be an option. The rental income you may earn could exceed your monthly mortgage payments. It may even provide a little extra in your pocket too.
Your local authority and Government will have regulations for you to follow. Some will demand that you hold a tenant’s deposit in a safe investment. It guarantees it can be returned in full at the end of an agreement period. Other areas require you to register with them so they can inspect your properties from time to time.
You may find that your rental income is capped in some cities. Other cities are desperate for properties like yours. The local authority will manage your tenancies for you. They can collect the rental income, and guarantee the tenant on your behalf. Be sure you are fully up to date with your local authority’s rules and regulations before advertising.
If the rents are not capped, then you are free to charge whatever you like. A local estate agent will give you an idea of the rents that are currently being charged in the area. To ensure you can demand top dollar, you need to make sure your property is appealing to the right tenants.
Start by cleaning up the appearance of the property. A fresh lick of paint is often enough to rent a property out. But if you want to demand a high price for it, some thought and style is needed. Choose quality fixtures and fittings, and professional finishes to all the decor. Steer away from bland magnolias if you want to attract higher rental income.
If you are targeting families as potential tenants, then you might want to rethink the layout of your property. An open plan design can be quite appealing to a family. Remodelling to provide these features could be a worthwhile investment. Utility rooms are also handy for families with active kids or pets.
Are the bathrooms and kitchen up to date? Dated decor can be off-putting to a potential tenant. Fitted kitchens with integrated appliances offer convenience as well as looking good. Changing the worktop and cupboard doors can often be enough. It may even be a job you can take on yourself to save money.
Bathrooms should be immaculate. Nobody wants a bathroom that is dirty. You can clean up the grouting yourself with grout cleaner or steam. If you feel the suite or tiling needs replacing, there are plenty of YouTube videos showing you how to tackle these changes yourself. Should you need to alter the plumbing, it is essential you ask a professional to take on the work.
If the property is being let furnished, choose furniture that is stylish and attractive. The decor should complement the colour choices of your furniture too. Add some rugs and cushions to finish of the style. Even if you’re not providing bedding for your tenant, dress the bedrooms to attract potential viewers. Adding these little touches will help the tenant imagine the lifestyle he could live here.
Make sure all the carpets are either new or thoroughly cleaned. Dirty carpets harbour odours and stains. This can make an entire home seem very unattractive. Seek out professional carpet cleaning companies to bring the life back to your flooring. Hard flooring may need a deep clean too. Cleaning is always much cheaper than replacing a dirty floor. However, flooring that is damaged should always be changed.
As a landlord it is important you think in business terms. Any investment you make must be wise. You want to see a return on that investment quickly. If you are offering luxury accommodation in a poor neighbourhood, you may struggle to get the price you want. All the improvements to the house may have been a waste of money. Pitch the property for the neighbourhood it sits in.
Marketing costs will also need to be factored into your property investment too. You may need to advertise the rental in your local newspaper. There are several online services that you can use too. If you use an agent to provide you with tenants, they will often take a percentage of your rental income as part of their fee. They may also charge you administrative and marketing costs on top.
Make your property as attractive as possible for your marketing photographs. Dress each room for purpose if it will be furnished. Make sure the rooms are finished completely before any photos are taken. Describe the benefits of each room in your marketing too. Mention original features, good sizes, and additional services like TV or phone points. You can always add some of these to make it more attractive.
Once it is clean and decorated, turn your attention to the kerb appeal. The exterior of your property should look as attractive as the inside. Keep the gardens in a good, managed condition. House rubbish bins out of sight. Make sure the windows and doors are clean. The rear garden area should be functional for outside dining and entertaining. It should also be secure and well-maintained.
Provide plenty of security for your tenant too. Exterior lights and locks on the doors are basic necessities. Lockable gates and windows can add further security. Try to offer a secure shed for bikes and garden tools as well. An intercom entry system can also provide comfort for your tenant. Paths to the property should be even and free of damage or debris.
Landlord insurance protects you and your tenant from any problems. It may be a requirement of your mortgage lender to have it in place too. Keep an eye on your property every couple of months or so while it is let out so you can be sure there are no problems. Enjoy the extra income your property provides.