If you think being a landlord means buying a property, renting out the property and collecting rent, then you’re far from wrong. Being a landlord is not as easy as it sounds. A landlord has a lot of responsibility, and being a landlord is not a very easy role.

There is so much involved from choosing the right rental property to ensuring that the property also has the required amenities, from finding suitable tenants to dealing with legal obligations. Here is an extensive and essential checklist for new landlords to follow.

Finding the right property is key

In order to become a landlord, you need to have a tenant. You could have the best property in the market, but until and unless you have a tenant who is giving you monthly rent, you are technically not a landlord.

It is important to choose a property that can get rented easily; that means your property should be well-located, spacious with good interiors, equipped with modern amenities and so on. In simple words, you need to invest in a property that will be in demand.

Also, your investment must be cash flow positive – the monthly rent should be more than the monthly expenses. Say, you’re looking at a property in Manchester, then you should opt for a property valuation Manchester and also find out the average rent of similar properties in the area before making an investment decision.

Market your property

In order to find tenants, a landlord needs to market their property. While hiring an estate agent is always recommended, a landlord should also try to promote their property online. Always list your property online, ensure you write a detailed description of the property and do not forget to take high-quality pictures. In fact, it is best if you stage the interiors of the property so that it looks good in pictures and videos.

Follow all the safety measures

In certain areas, landlords are legally obligated to follow all the safety measures. However, whether it is required by law or not, a good landlord will always follow the safety measures to ensure that the tenants and the property are safe.

This includes installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, providing that the plumbing system, HVAC system, and the electrical system are up to date, checking for any contaminants such as mould or lead, etc.

Treat it like a business

Being a landlord is similar to being a businessman. You need to think of your property or properties as your business. So, first and foremost, your business needs to be cash-flow positive. Secondly, you need to invest capital in your business for it to do well. Also, you need to have a property system of organization to make sure that your business runs smoothly.

Let’s say, you’re looking for a property for sale in Manchester which you then plan to give out on rent. You need to do your due research and ensure that this is a good investment opportunity, just as any businessman would.

Always vet the tenant

Before you take on any tenants, you need to vet them thoroughly. It is recommended that you prepare a tenant application form which all potential tenants need to fill. This form should include details such as employment status, financial information, landlord references and so on.

Before choosing a tenant, make sure to call their references to find out about the tenant. Also, it is always a good idea to do a thorough background check. After all, the last thing you want is a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent on time or a tenant with a criminal history!

Cover everything in the lease agreement

A lease agreement is essentially a legally binding document. So, the lease agreement should be very detailed. The details of the landlord and the tenant must be mentioned, as well as important details like the monthly rent, the date of the rent payment, conditions of late payment or interest charged on late payment, terms of the security deposit and so on.

Also, it is recommended that all the inventory items in the property are mentioned in the lease agreement, which includes white goods and appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, heaters and so on. Any rules and regulations such as ‘no smoking’ or ‘no pets’ can also be mentioned in the lease agreement.

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