Whether it’s difficult dealings with nightmare tenants or getting to grips with the latest tax change, being a landlord is a lot trickier than it looks.
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Over the course of any landlord’s lifespan, there are, inevitably, highs and lows. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common.
1. Putting up with countless tax and legislation changes
Keeping an eye on the ever-changing legislation front is nothing new for landlords, but 2016 has seen even more buy-to-let changes than usual.
From stamp duty increases to capital gains tax cuts, keeping up with changes can be tricky.
That’s where we come in. Our dedicated landlord Knowledge section is there to keep you ahead of the headlines affecting your rental.
2. Late rent
If you rent out properties for long enough, this is something that you’ll eventually have to contend with. It’s frustrating, but providing you have a good letting agent this sort of thing should be rare.
However, unpaid rent costs landlords £900m annually, so keeping on top of things before they get out of control is essential.
The best method for combatting late rent is always prevention. Correct vetting and references should leave you with tenants who you know will pay on time, but be sure to have a plan should the worst happen.
3. Losing good tenants
Good tenants can be hard to find, but they can be even trickier to keep. They may have to move for work or upsize, and many will eventually look to buy a place of their own.
Forging a strong long-term relationship with a tenant can be the easiest way to secure repeat rent, and ensure that your property is in good hands.
If you have great tenants, make the most of it while it lasts and look for similar qualities in any new future tenants.
4. Replacing broken items
Property damage is often one of the biggest expenses for landlords, and broken items are an inevitability.
However frustrating it can be, keep in mind that it’s not always the tenants’ fault. Read up on the wear and tear allowance and consider the likes of fixtures and fittings, contents and accidental damage insurance to protect you should the worst happen.
5. Finding new tenants
Perhaps the most difficult thing about being a landlord is finding new tenants.
Firstly you have to decide whether to go with a letting agent - or move letting agents - and then there are decisions on which property listing websites to advertise on. But that’s just the start, vetting potential tenants, negotiating on price and sorting out the likes of a tenancy agreement can all be a nightmare for inexperienced landlords.
6. The tough decision on when to raise the rent
It’s a tricky decision and can be an even more complicated conversation with your tenants.
However, as costs rise, you need your rental to be profitable, and increasing the rent at the right time is essential. Keep an eye on the going rate, and when make the decision when the time is right.
Still struggling? Check out our article on increasing rent and the one fact all landlords should know.
7. Learning your legal responsibilities
Letting out your property comes with a few more complications than simply handing over the keys and picking up rent once a month.
Everything from safety to repairs have a set of rules that landlords need to follow if they’re to stay on the right side of the law.
However, at the same time, your tenants also have some obligations. Check out some tips in our guide to landlords’ and tenants’ responsibilities.
8. Slowly becoming a DIY expert
If you’ve been a landlord for multiple years, the chances are you’ve done a fair bit of DIY.
Most landlords will have done their share of painting and flatpack furniture assembly, while the more adventurous might even have tried their hand at basic plumbing or building tasks.
Sprucing up your property can be a good way to attract tenants, so check out our top six renovation tips for your rental property.
We’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences below.