The New Landlord’s Guide to Renting Out a Property for the First Time
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, your vacant property can make you money even before a tenancy agreement is signed. Simply listing a garage for rent, for example, can be a tidy little earner, as can any other type of storage for rent you can advertise in your vacant home.
Keep a close eye on our handy guide to renting out a new property for the first time, and hopefully you’ll be able to tick off the boxes in terms of your job as landlord, and much more besides.
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How to Become a Landlord
Good news! Becoming a landlord doesn’t involve applying to some fancy association before you start. As soon as a property you’ve bought hits the rental market, you’re automatically stepping into the landlord role. Sadly, that does mean you might have less time to prepare than you’d have thought, so the more organised you are with your duties, the fewer headaches you’ll have by the time new tenants enter your property.
Keep the following in mind for as soon as you add “landlord” to your CV:
Health and Safety Regulations
It’s good practice to keep the property on the right side of health and safety regulations. Council inspections might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but they do help to avoid unnecessary problems down the line. That means making sure there are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the building, and perhaps getting someone in to check that the gas and electrical equipment is safe for use.
Keeping a regular maintenance routine on your properties can make all the difference between relative peace and quiet and the phone ringing around the clock. There are various repairs that may form part of your duties. These include any structural damage, repairs to the heating system, damage to common areas and more. Don’t forget to get your energy performance certificate before the renters arrive too.
Financial & Legal Considerations
When you rent out any property for the first time, making the right legal and financial considerations can help get things off on the right foot. Doing due diligence, securing a deposit from tenants and paying tax are just a few of the things you should be doing:
Finalising a tenancy agreement requires doing a fair bit of research on your part, especially when you’re doing so for the first time. Always check if potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. Keeping an eye on any government policy changes related to renting out property is a good idea too.
Deposits & Tax
Legally, you have to have your tenants’ deposits secured and put it into a government-approved scheme, which then sit in the scheme for the entire occupation period. No deposit? Then expect legal woes down the line, as well as having to foot the bill for repairs when the tenants leave the premises.
Paying tax might not be fun, but it has to be done, so be sure to meet with a tax advisor before you start a long-term rental so you can get a sense of how much tax you’ll be liable to pay (and to double check the profitability of the rental). The good news is that, if you are the sole owner of a single property, you won’t have to pay tax on the first £1,000 you earn from that tenancy.
If you’ve got a few properties under your belt, you’ll have more than just tax to keep in mind. Class 2 national insurance is mandatory for anyone earning over £6,475 a year from renting out properties, though this only applies if being a landlord is your primary source of income.
Source: https://www.giphy.com/Paperwork may be boring, but you’ll be glad you got it sorted early
Renting Out a Property for the First Time: Landlord Advice from Stashbee
With the technicalities covered, we can now move to some advice about how to make the property work for you, in the best possible way. If you’re struggling to find a tenant because of the economic pinch from the pandemic - and by all accounts, you’re not alone - do some basic cost-cutting first. From there, consider some of the ways you can earn from your property portfolio, even if there aren’t any tenants in the building:
Quick Cost Cutting Actions For Vacant Properties
Remember to keep electrical and gas appliances turned off if the property is empty and ensure that plug sockets around the property are disabled. This is also good practice for health and safety reasons!
You should also disable both the hot water and the heating timer. As experience (or other landlords) will tell you, keeping the cost of utilities to a minimum is good practice, especially when you’re footing the bill.
Lastly, cost-cutting involves an active, holistic view of all the overheads related to your property. This includes rethinking subscriptions for advertising (especially if they aren’t working to bring in new leads). If you’re looking for a solution to this particular jam, remember that Excel spreadsheets are your friend.
Renting Out Storage Space
Keen to increase your earnings, even without having live-in tenants in the house? We’ve got you covered.
Storage space is hot property (ahem) and a vacant room or garage could end up helping a nearby family in search of storage space during a renovation. In return, you get a wad of cash in your pocket.
Stashbee can handle the entire process for you. Creating a listing won’t cost you a thing, and you can disable it as soon as you know when tenants are moving their items in. Check out our online calculator to discover how much you could be earning, depending on where the property is located.
Rent Out Your Driveway
Another way to make extra money from your property is by renting out your driveaway as a parking space. People struggle to find reliable parking spaces near work every day, so why not be the person who solves that problem for them, and gets paid for the privilege?
Stashbee takes care of these types of bookings in the same way as the storage space rentals. It only takes a few steps to get your listing online. All of Stashbee’s parking Guests are vetted (so you avoid getting a straggler in), and better yet, you’ll have someone to keep an eye on your property twice a day without having to pay them for doing so.
Making The Most Of Your Landlord Status
The days of only earning rental income from your property (or properties) are long gone. The world is changing rapidly, and it pays to look beyond the basic legal, financial and maintenance responsibilities of being a landlord.
Even when you don’t have tenants in yet, you can earn a steady side income that — if we’re totally honest — won’t require all that much from you to begin with.
If you’re keen to keep this kind of thinking going, the Stashbee blog is a great place to get extra tips on renting out your property and generally making the most of your landlord status.
You’ll be settled and on the hunt for your next property in no time at all.
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Updated 13th Apr 2023
Written 11th May 2021
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