Last week Landlord Today carried a useful article from a Norwich-based insurance broker specialising in landlord insurance. The company gives a list of top tips for novice buy-to-let investors, outlining the key aspects of renting a property that new landlords need to understand.
- Know the law
- Prepare for costs
- Evaluate tenants
- Understand eviction
These are all really important points. Landlords should have a clear understanding of the market they are investing in before they take the plunge. By letting a property, you are providing a home for someone: that is a major responsibility. Of course landlords are running a business and expect to make a good return on their money – but that comes with a long list of obligations and responsibilities that anyone dipping a toe in the water for the first time needs to fully understand.
However, what the article fails to point out is that first-time landlords have a lot to gain by using a professional letting agent. Of course, this comes with a cost but what you may lose in fees you stand to gain via the local knowledge and expertise of a company with experience in the rental market. A good letting agent can be worth his or her weight in gold. You are likely to face fewer void periods when you aren’t getting an income and can rely on the agent to properly vet your tenants for you, so you are less likely to face problems further down the line. You can do all this yourself but it takes time and energy and if you haven’t done it before it is easy to make mistakes. So why not put the task in the hands of someone who does this for a living?
Not all letting agents are created equal. So if you do decide to go down this route, make sure the company you choose is a member of one of the three main governing bodies:
- Association of Residential Letting Agents
- Safeagent (Previously The National Approved Letting Scheme)
- National Association of Estate Agents
Any letting agent who is a member of one or more of these professional bodies will carry its logo or trademark on their website. This means they are bound by the rules and regulations that govern the sector. The agent will also have a complaints procedure in place and can be relied on to safely manage your money.
But if managing and letting your own property really is the way you want to go, then Ringley has developed PlanetRent to do all the hard work for you. We have designed it to give your tenants a professional rental journey and to ensure that you as a landlord are fully compliant with all the latest legislation. So if you have a property to let, why not, sign up here today, free of charge, and find out how PlanetRent could benefit you and your tenants.