How to Become a Landlord

How to Become a Landlord Poster with The Lettings Cloud Logo and toy houses

The idea of becoming a landlord can be daunting as it requires a lot of planning, due to the legislation that must be followed when renting out a property. Here are all the steps you need to take to become a landlord.

Does your property require any repairs?

If your property is older, it may need some renovation or modifications to make it attractive for the current rental market. Many of those renting today do not want to live in a poor-quality rental home, and often look for neutral decoration. However, if your property does have a bold colour scheme, or character, there will be tenants out there who would prefer this over neutral colours.

Would you like to furnish your property or not?

Whilst fully-furnished properties are more difficult to rent out to the rental market, it is ultimately up to the landlord to decide whether they would like to furnish their property or not. Landlords who are moving far from their letting property often leave their property fully furnished, which can be popular amongst young renters who cannot afford to purchase furniture for their property. Ensure the furniture is good quality and fairly new, and they all comply with fire safety regulations.

If you have decided to go down the unfurnished route, it can be a good idea to purchase some white goods as this can be a significant purchase for many tenants, as well as furniture, and will increase your chances of letting out the property.

Are your certifications up to date?

To be able to rent out your property, there are certain certifications you must have. Annually, each property must undergo a Gas Safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They will then provide you with a Gas Safety Certificate and this must be provided to the tenants within 28 days of being received or at the beginning of a new tenancy.

All landlords must also have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This must be performed by a qualified and competent person at regular intervals of no more than 5 years. It will vary from each inspector as to whether the EICR will need updating with each tenancy or whether it will last for 5 years. If the report deems the property as unsafe, remedial work will be required until tenants can move in.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is another certification that will be required. They rank the energy efficiency of a property from A to G. A means the property is very energy efficient and G means the property is not very energy efficient. The certificate will come with recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of your property. If you receive an energy efficiency of F or G, improvements must be made to make it up to an E rating before it can be rented out. Alternatively, the homeowner could also spend £3,500 on improvements to qualify for an exemption from the Minimum Efficiency Standards. An EPC is valid for 10 years and a copy of the EPC must be made available to any prospective tenants at no additional charge. An additional copy must be given once a tenant signs the tenancy agreement.

Decide whether you would like to self-manage your property or use a local lettings agency.

Self-management is becoming increasingly popular as landlords are able to have more control over their property. If you are going down this route, you will have to source your own qualified individuals to ensure your certifications are up to date and find a way to make your property visible on the rental market. To save the hassle many self-managed landlords face, we have created Lettings in a Box package which covers a Full Tenants Find Service, Landlords, Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate, Electrical Installation Condition Report as well as any remaining questions on the renting industry the landlord may have.

If you are thinking of using a local lettings agency, it can be difficult to compare ad contrast the benefits, costs and terms & conditions each agency offers. Rent Round is a great website for you to compare estate and lettings agents in your local area.

Considerations you may like to think about…

  • Will the property be furnished or unfurnished?
  • Will I accept pets?
  • Should I self-manage the property, or use a lettings agency?

Do you have the correct paperwork ready?

A tenancy agreement is a contract which sets out the legal terms and conditions between the landlord and tenants which the tenants must follow. This includes the start and end date of the tenancy and how much the property will cost per month and when payments are expected to be made.

An inventory is a list of everything that the landlord has provided the tenant. This also includes photos of the condition of the property, especially fixtures, fittings, any furnishings and the property in general at the start of the tenancy agreement.

An EPC and gas safety certificate, as previously mentioned must be issued to tenants at the start of their tenancy.

You require permission from a mortgage lender to show that your mortgage is a buy-to-let mortgage rather than a landlord living in the property themselves.

From the 1st October 2015, it became a legal requirement for all private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm fitted on every floor of the property, and at least one carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. This could be a coal fire, a wood burning stove etc. All alarms must be checked that they are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Landlords must be part of a deposit scheme to hold the tenants deposit. Here at The Lettings Cloud, we are a member of Client Money Protect and My Deposits.

Right to rent checks will help you ensure that your tenant is allowed to live in England.



For any more questions or enquires, please contact our office on 01282 691223 or email info@thelettingscloud.com.