Accidental Landlord in Andover or Whitchurch? Why You Need a Letting Agent

It might sound strange for someone to end up with a rental property without meaning to. But it actually happens quite a lot.

Simply put, an accidental landlord is someone who didn’t intend to be one. It can happen, for example, if you suddenly inherit a property and don’t want to sell it yet. Another situation that happens quite a lot is when someone moves to a different area because of work, buys a new property but can’t sell their existing one.

The options here are to leave the property empty or rent it out while you wait for a chance to sell and make some money.

The trouble most people find is that being a landlord isn’t as simple as getting a tenant in and charging rent. There are legal obligations, for a start. Then there’s the work that goes into managing the tenancy and getting it ready.

Most accidental landlords aren’t prepared for the work involved. That’s why it’s a good idea to approach a reputable letting agent that can manage most of the heavy lifting.

Landlord Legal Obligations

First of all, you will need to provide a property that is fit for habitation. New changes to legislation mean that landlords can be fined if they don’t meet some minimum requirements.

As a landlord, you will need to get an Energy Performance Certificate for your property and make this available to any potential new tenant.

You need to have safety measures such as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, ensure that you have a gas safety check done every year, make sure repairs are carried out in a timely manner and that’s just the start.

Other Important Considerations

On top of this, you may need to renovate the property to make it habitable for the tenant. That will require a significant investment in time as well as money.

You’ll have to advertise the property and put together a tenancy agreement and compile a list of fixtures and fittings. Then you will need to interview prospective tenants and check they have the right to rent in this country. You will have to ensure that any deposit you collect is placed in a government-approved deposit protection scheme.

Once the tenant is in place, you may have issues with their behaviour if you’ve chosen badly. While this is a worst-case scenario, you might have to handle complaints from neighbours and even think about taking a tenant to court to evict them.

The Benefits of Using a Letting Agent

Being a landlord can quickly become a fulltime job and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. One solution is to hand control over to a good letting agent. While you will have to pay them for the service, it does mean you get rental income and put the property to good use without doing most of the hard work yourself.

A letting agent will be able to:

  • Ensure you comply with current legislation.
  • Put together the paperwork for the tenancy.
  • Advertise and interview prospective tenants.
  • Manage the property while you are away.
  • Chase rental payments if the tenant gets behind.

Graham & Co is one of the leading estate and letting agents for Andover and Whitchurch. If you suddenly find that you’re an accidental landlord, contact us today to talk about how we can help manage your property and realise its full rental potential.