On BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live show, National Landlords Association (NLA) Chairman, Carolyn Uphill, says that first time aspiring landlords should not be discouraged by the negative press the buy-to-let market receives, and the potential financial difficulties.1
Uphill was responding to a prospective landlord looking to break into the buy-to-let sector.
Become a Successful First Time Landlord
“First of all, it’s imperative that prospective landlords don’t underestimate what they’re getting into,” says Uphill. “At the end of the day, it’s a business and landlords should know what they need to do to make that business succeed.”
She continues: “Before starting out, I advise to research thoroughly, understand the market and what sort of tenant you’re aiming the business at, and finally, to make sure you seek out the best advice possible.
“I strongly advise joining a trade association like the NLA before investing a substantial amount of money. With the NLA’s new Effective Letting campaign you’ve got a better chance of getting it right first time.
“If you don’t want to manage your property, there are good agents out there, but you must make sure the agent is a member of a professional body like UKALA [UK Association of Letting Agents] before taking that route. However, it’s important to fully understand your legal obligations as you will still be responsible for certain things even if you use an agent, for example: making the home fit for habitation; ensuring that there are no category one hazards which can cause injury; that gas safety appliances are properly tested and in working order; that the property’s Energy Performance Certificate is up to date before you rent.”
She concludes: “Finally and most importantly, being a successful landlord requires effective communication, which in turn can help to reduce missed payments and voids that can have severe financial implications.
“With all tenancies, it’s important to establish a good, professional relationship from the start. It is also essential that you set out fair terms in your tenancy agreement and that both landlord and tenant understand their obligations throughout the tenancy. If you get this right, then the tenancy is likely to run smoothly.”1
More information can be found at www.landlords.org.uk.