Are you moving out of your home and, instead of selling it, you’ve been able to hold onto it as an investment? Here’s a short guide to give you some pointers on what to consider as you embark on your journey as a first time landlord.
Get some mortgage advice
If the property is currently on a residential mortgage, first time landlords will need to either change this to a Buy-to-let mortgage or apply for “Consent-to-let” from your mortgage provider. A good mortgage broker will be able to guide through the best options and the benefits of the different mortgage possibilities. (If you’re a first time landlord looking for mortgage advice, let us know and we’ll pass you onto a broker we enjoy working with).
Short or long term lettings?
Choosing between short or long term lets can be confusing for a first-time landlord. Generally, long term lets will come with less hassle, more security, less wear and tear on the property and they’ll be less affected by seasonality than short term lets. We’ve recently written a couple of blogs with our opinion on airbnb lets and an update on legislation that’s coming into force next year.
Finding the right agent
When it comes to choosing an agent, research is key. First time landlords should chat to some friends who are already landlords to find out their good or bad experiences. It is definitely also worth taking a look at Google review scores (and read through some of the feedback). Lastly, phone the agent or come to their office if you’re a local to get a really good feel for the agent and their team on whether it’s a match or not.
Furnished or unfurnished?
First time landlords may wish to take current furniture with them. Generally, our advice is to rent a 1 or 2 bedroom property furnished, and rent properties with 3 bedrooms or more unfurnished (unless they’re student properties or in the city centre). This will ensure maximum interest in the property from a tenant point of view. For furnished properties, declutter; just leave the main pieces of furniture and kitchen essentials and remove any personal belongings or anything sentimental.
Register as a landlord
As a first-time landlord, all listed owners of the rental property need to apply to be registered with Edinburgh Council using this link https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/. Edinburgh Council will hereafter issue a landlord registration number within 1-2 weeks.
TFirst time landlords should arrange for a landlord insurance product for your property. This will be similar to the existing insurance policy, but will have added cover specifically for properties that will be tenanted. At Umega, we work with an insurance broker, Bruce Stevenson, who operates a block insurance policy for our landlords, so we can get a good level of cover for our landlords at very competitive rates (and it means that we can deal directly with the broker if there’s ever any future claims, reducing the workload on landlords).
Prepare a folder of instructions
In order to help new tenants settle in, it’s a good idea to gather all instruction manuals for appliances and include them in a folder with any extra instructions tenants may need.
Arrange a professional clean of your property
In order to set the bar high, a professional clean should be carried out before the first tenancy. This is to make sure the property is handed back by tenants nice and clean, or to allow deduction from the tenant’s deposit for cleaning at the end of their tenancy.
Hand everything over to your agent
First time landlords should gather up the keys and any paperwork and hand this over to their new letting agent so that they can get the property on the market in order that the first tenant can move in nice and quickly. If possible, it’s a good idea to call into the office to meet the new Relationship Manager who will be looking after a landlord’s pride and joy. They will also carry out property inspections and help tenants with any questions or maintenance issues they may have during the tenancy – the Relationship Manager will be a landlord’s eyes and ears throughout their life as a landlord!
At this point all there’s left is for the landlord is to sit back and relax!
If you’re a first time landlord considering renting your property out please help yourself to a free rental valuation or get in contact and one of our team will be back in touch over email, over the phone or face to face at our office or at your home.