Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Essential Advice For Accidental Landlords

With the housing market stuck in the doldrums and the demand for rental properties increasing, the number of accidental landlords is on the rise
once again. Research conducted by ARLA showed that more than a third (34%) of member offices surveyed during Q3 2010 saw an increase in the number of rental properties coming onto market because they couldn't be sold.

Becoming a landlord however is not an easy option as a Lincoln-based lettings management company is urging first-time landlords to consider all factors before committing to renting out a property.

Lighthouse Property Services reports that owing to the recession and the decline in the housing market a new wave of ‘accidental landlords’ is springing up all over the UK, and many entering the rental market for the first time are finding that the process is not as simple as initially thought.

“Research conducted by ARLA has revealed that over a third of member offices surveyed during Q3 2010 saw an increase in the number of rental properties coming onto the market because they couldn’t be sold,” says Tim Clark, Managing Director of Lighthouse Property Services.(pictured above).

“For some entering the rental market can be a daunting prospect. Therefore it is essential that any prospective landlord entering the rental market for the first time considers a number of issues.”

According to Tim the first consideration should be whether or not to actually rent out the property in the first place, as having tenants could potentially prevent homeowners from selling. However a property that is already occupied with tenants could be a selling point and therefore is not necessarily a negative factor.

The second issue is to remember that this is a business decision and there is no room for sentiment. Landlords need to divorce themselves from any emotional attachments to their property.

Legally homeowners will need to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage, and the advice is to thoroughly research all options and get quotes from a number of brokers.

Practical matters such as properly checked appliances and the amount of paperwork can also be a minefield to the first-time landlord.

Many first-time landlords employ the services of a specialist letting agency. These companies can alleviate some of the difficulties associated with renting property and deal with the majority of practical issues and paperwork for you – for example, lodging the deposits, co-ordinating repairs and dealing with emergencies.

They can also help with testing all the gas appliances and electrical supplies which all landlords are legally required to do.

Tim also raises one other vital point which should not be overlooked; “If you are reliant on the rent to cover your mortgage remember the two are not inextricably linked and rental insurance could be a safer option. Lastly if you do decide to instruct an agent to look after your property always chose an ARLA registered one.”

Source 8th December 2010 from Lighthouse Property Services who were established in 2001 and is a residential and student lettings agency operating in Lincoln.

If you are having to let out your property do make sure you have proper landlords insurance including rent protection / guarantee policies. To find out more follow this link

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