Being a Landlord isn’t a nine-to-five job. It can involve a lot of work and normally during hours outside of your day job. But if you plan well and have done your research beforehand and ensure that you have the right kind of rental property, it can be a very lucrative and a financially rewarding asset.
There is always the option of acquiring the help and services of a Letting Agent who can take the stress that sometimes comes with renting a property, which in turn frees you up to spend more time on the things you enjoy in life while your Agent does the work for you.
But, if you prefer to go it alone there are many other things to consider. It’s not an easy job, it can be time-consuming, frustrating and sometimes extremely stressful, especially if you pick the wrong tenant(s). It’s not a case of just advertising your property on the local corner shop noticeboard anymore – although this can work. There are processes, procedures and legislation that you must know and must follow or risk fines or even prosecution. The law is there for a reason and you can’t skirt around it or cut corners as this can be dangerous and cause your Tenant serious harm.
Now, if you’re still with me and I haven’t scared you off too much, being a Landlord can also be extremely rewarding and self-fulfilling. Some Landlords even leave their jobs to manage a portfolio of properties.
There are certain attributes that you may want to consider:
Are you a people person?
Being a Landlord brings an array of people from different backgrounds into your life, be they potential tenants, tradesman or other Landlords. You need to have patients, understanding and sometimes compassion when conversing with different people. On the other hand you need to be firm and robust when needed.
Are you able to manage your Finances?
Sometimes life will be going along quite happily and then all of a sudden, your tenant just ups and leaves with no notice. Or a once reliable tenant stops paying their rent with no explanation. Or for some reason you have a void period between tenants.
Would you be able to budget your income to cover this? to pay for your own expenses and the addition of a monthly mortgage payment that the rent generally covers?
Are you or a member of your family into DIY?
Houses always have little technical problems that need fixing such as broken locks, fencing that has blown down on a windy day etc., and it helps if you can fix it yourself without having to eat into your profit because you’ve had to call a tradesman in to deal with a small job. Clearly jobs like Gas and Electrics must be completed by qualified professionals.
Are you studious?
As mentioned above there are certain processes, procedures and legislation that you will need to understand and comply with. There are certain checks that you need to undertake on your rental property and any potential tenant. You need to know the procedure for Deposits, Inventories, Tenancy Agreements and processes once your tenant has taken residence. It’s not hard to understand, but it can be extremely daunting to begin with ad is time consuming. That’s why it can be best to instruct an agent to do all of this for you. They not only take care of finding you an appropriate tenant, check them into the property, monitor the property and the tenants during the length of the tenancy agreement but they will also keep themselves up to date with new legislation (of which there are changes coming in to play this year).
The biggest mistake I’ve come across when a previous self-managing Landlord comes to me for help, is that they are not treating their rental property as a business and they get drawn into the lives of their tenants. Loosing sight of why they became a Landlord. It’s an investment after all!
This is a business and you need to treat it as such. Stop thinking with your hearts and use your heads. Being a Landlord has its up and down, nobody said it was going to be easy, if it were, everybody would be doing it!
So, be a good Landlord, treat your Tenants fairly, comply with the legislation and regulations, act professionally and keep sight of why you wanted to be a Landlord. Like all investments they need to be nurtured and protected.