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Becoming a residential landlord

View profile for Oonagh McKinney
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There has been a marked increase in the demand for rental property since 2009 and this presents an opportunity within the market for new landlords. First time buyers are struggling to get on the property ladder due to the financial instability brought on by recession. Recently released analysis of figures from 2010 show that there is a significant change in the age of private landlords in the UK and 20-34 year olds are entering this market.

If you are thinking about investing in a buy to let, or already have property standing vacant, there are several things to be considered:

  • Get an independent reference from any prospective tenant and verify their employment with their company. This will reduce the risk of tenants falling into rent arrears.
  • Keep up to date with current landlord regulations.
  • Have a contingency fund in case you need to cover mortgage payments yourself while the property is unoccupied.

Commercial Property Solicitor, Charlotte Wilson, advises people considering entering into the buy to let market to take legal advice on their responsibilities as a landlord first. She says “It is crucial to have a legal tenancy agreement drawn up before letting your property. We can advise you on which type of agreement is most suitable for you. This agreement will specify both the tenant’s and landlord’s rights.”

Charlotte goes on to explain that, as a landlord, you can legally:

  • Repossess the property when the tenancy ends
  • Gain access to the property by giving 24 hours notice
  • Repossess the property if there is major damage caused
  • Take legal action should eviction become necessary

If you are considering renting out a residential property to tenants, contact our Commercial Property Team for a free initial appointment to find out your obligations as a landlord and some of the “do’s & don’ts” to avoid costly mistakes later on.