Becoming a landlord in the UK

Renting is on the rise – there are currently around 4.5 million families living in the private rented sector in England, up from 2.8 million in 2007, and with mortgage rates soaring and house prices still rising, it is estimated that the number of people renting is only going to grow.

So, with demand for rental properties at an all-time high, the market is going to need either existing landlords to expand their portfolios, or new ones to come into the market.

And while successive waves of anti-landlord legislation – including restrictions on income tax relief, stamp duty surcharge and the removal of the 10 percent depreciation allowance on expenses – have drastically reduced the amount of tax relief landlords – and particularly those high-rate taxpayers with mortgages – can receive, there are still financial benefits of becoming a landlord.

Not only can you benefit from a steady income (even with mortgage rates on the rise, rental prices hit a record high in July of Β£1,126 and a staggering Β£2,257 in London*) but owning property is also a way of protecting your assets. Mortgages depreciate over time, while house values and rental income both tend to increase with inflation, so even in the current high inflation, high-interest rate environment, the property can still be very profitable.

Of course, not all properties will be right for renting. If you buy for the sole purpose of renting then you can obviously choose a property that will be suitable, equally, if you have moved in with a partner and are considering renting out your former home, it is probably ready to rent. However, if you have, for example, inherited a property, you may need to do quite a bit of work to it before it is ready to rent out.

And it is not just about the property itself – location is key too. You will need to check, firstly, if there is demand for rental properties in your area, and secondly, if your property is likely to be popular. For example, if you have a large home in a city centre and demand is for smaller homes, you may want to consider splitting it into multiple residences or rent to students.

One of the reasons many people choose to rent rather than buy is because, as tenants, they are not responsible for the upkeep of the property – and this responsibility is a key consideration if you are thinking about becoming a landlord. You are responsible if anything goes wrong, so you will need to ensure you have specialist landlord insurance to cover any damage (as you would with a domestic policy), but also, for things like public liability cover, alternative accommodation cover, accidental damage, loss of rental income and eviction cover.

Once the property is in a rental state and you have landlord insurance in place, you will need to start the process of getting a tenant in.

First of all, you’ll need to calculate how much to charge in monthly rental payments. Obviously, you will need to be able to cover the mortgage, but remember, you will also need to think about covering the cost of any repairs, insurance, and letting agent fees – if you use one – and still make a profit each month. You then need to advertise for a suitable tenant.

Letting agents can help with this – they typically charge 10-15% of your rental price but will advertise your property, find and vet the tenants, manage your property, handle any repairs and look after the legal side of things, which can offer real peace of mind.

But whether you manage it yourself or get a letting agent, the liability lies with you so make sure you have good landlord insurance in place so you can sleep easy. Visit InsureMy for the best value insurance.

© COPYRIGHT 2024 RoomsLocal. All Rights Reserved