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  • Buy-to-Let

    New landlord - major things to take care of?

    Hi,

    I'm in the process of buying my second BTL via SPV (single dwelling) and, after not the best experience with managing agent of my first property, I would like to self-manage it (and following ones).

    I've been reading this forum for a while, so I am fully aware that there is a lot to learn but what are the key things to focus for a landlord-newbie?

    I have to register for deposit scheme (fist need to check if I'm registered already as my first tenant paid deposit so maybe I am...).

    I have to find tenants - I understand that on zoopla and rightmove only companies can advertise? I read in another forum that some landlords use Openrent/Upad for ad posting. Any other inexpensive ways to post ads?

    I need to do referencing and in another post someone asked for recommendations for tenant referencing tools or websites, so I assume such websites/tools exist... Otherwise how do you do referencing yourself?  Simply asking for bank statements/payslips and contact details for previous landlord or anything else?

    Do I have to register for any landlord organisation? Which one to choose? Is is costly?

    Ps. Is there some online course 'how to become a compliant landlord'? Smile Wink  Haven't come across one yet but no harm to ask...

    Your comments and advice will be very appreciated Smile

    Joanna

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    Hi Joanna and welcome.

    The key to focus on for a newbie landlord is to set up a tenancy compliantly.  The fines for non-compliance are harsh. The answers to all your questions can be found on Property Tribes.

    For instance:



    Monday - Launch of Upad Basic

    Tuesday - How to protect a tenant's deposit correctly

    Wednesday -  Gas safety in a rental property

    Thursday - "How to Rent" Guide and EPCs

    Friday - Right to Rent checks 

    It is not mandatory to be a member of a landlord association, but it is advisable imho.  Property Tribes is partnered with the RLA and our members can get 25% discount off membership.

    The RLA also run the Academy for landlord training.  There is an e-learning course called Becoming A Landlord which covers what you need to know.

    It's well known that rogue tenants target naive newcomer landlords, looking to rent direct from them, so you need to be extra vigilant if you are going to self-manage as you will be vulnerable to serial non-rent payers imho.  This type of tenant is less likely to try and rent through an agent as they know they will be robustly referenced.

    However, I think with all the questions you are asking, you would be much better advised going through a fully managed reputable agent.  Northwood are the lettings partner of Property Tribes and have over 80 offices around the UK. 

    Here is our guide to how to vet a letting agent.

    I hope the above helps for starters.

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    @VW - impressed with your very detailed and helpful responses on many if not all the threads here.....kudos to your efforts.

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    Thank you for your kind comment - much appreciated.  I love property, so I am very blessed to be able to support others on their journey, through Property Tribes and other social media sites.  Not to mention that having an income from our portfolio gives me the time to be able to do so ... Smile

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    Many, many thanks Vanessa, I will read through all this information Smile  Good to know as well that there is some e-learning course available for RLA members.

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    You need an EPC, Gas Safety certicate and the most recent copy of How to Rent guide. At very basic. If you don't want the hassle of sorting deposits then you can look into Zero Deposit scheme.

    Also where is the property, is it mostly locals moving around the area or lots of newcomers. If former, you can try places like Gumtree as well especially if it's a smaller property.

    For references, you can use one of the reference orgs which means if the tenants passes you will also qualify for rent guarantee insurance should you want that. But since you will have to pay for it, you want to make sure you're fairly happy with the person before you use one.


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    the alternative is to ask a local ARLA independent agency to do this on a let only basis that way you can ensure you are compliant. Well worth it for a few hundred quid. Carry out DD on your chosen agent and build a relationship with them.

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    [Image: New-logo2.png] Manchester based investor. I buy, sell, renovate and rent investment property in East/North Manchester Wink email: mike@brentwoodinvestments.co.uk Call: 0161 681 3724

    Hi, thank you for all the comments Smile

    Regarding reference organisations - which ones do you mean? Do they charge for every single tenant check or do they charge some monthly fee? 

    Zero Deposit Scheme - it does exactly what it says on the tin, meaning tenant pays no deposit? If this is the meaning than it's very risky for the landlord, why would any landlord apply it? 

    Many thanks for clarifying Smile





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    It's an insurance product. Every tenant may not have £1-2k lying around on top of 1st month rent at the time of a new tenancy, so the scheme will charge 1 weeks rent and then insure the landlord for 6 weeks. This also means landlord doesn't need to put it into any scheme and issue paperwork and so no hassle with s21 notice down the line.

    References - there are quite a few at various price points from well known names and newcomers. So you can do a basic credit check, or something a little more in depth. Yes it's on a per tenant basis. But you only would only use on someone who has ticked most of your boxes at the preliminary stage and not on everyone who applies.



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