With so many policies for housing regulation these days it can be difficult keeping upto date with the almost constant changes. Landlord obligation to BTL tax changes and new BTL lending restrictions being imposed next month.
Keeping Upto Date
- Gas safety (annually).
- Legionnaires assessment (annually).
- Electrical Check (5 yearly).
- EPC (10 years).
- Landlords Insurance (annually).
Landlord insurance can be a bit of a mine field with so many providers offering different levels and caveats in the small print. Not all providers cover all circumstances. Such as letting to unemployed tenants, 30-days void occupancy levels, loss of rent etc. Also consider accidental and malicious damage. It maybe worth going through an insurance broker who can fully qualify for requirements and find the appropriate policy to ensure you’re fully covered.
Carry out quarterly inspections on rental property, check meter readings for adverse usage. Also assess general wear and tear or damage and update your inventory. Look out for condensation and remind tenants of how to deal with these issues to reduce the risk of damage to their health and your property. Check smoke alarms and CO2 detectors work correctly. Ensure all the appliances functioning and there are no unauthorised alterations to the property or fixtures.
This may sound obvious, but providing systems that are operating successfully to ensure that your tenants are warm as the weather turns colder. Making sure your boiler been serviced and all your pipes and radiators checked for leaks. Consider putting emergency cover is in place to cover boiler, radiators etc. to save hassle getting emergency plumber at 2am… Make sure you also check that your loft insulation is up to current standards and consider additional measures to reduce draughts. This will also help improve EPC rating for your property, which can determine letability of your property in the future. All this makes a more comfortable home for your tenant, important measures for ensuring long-term rental and energy-efficiency. Minimise rental voids!
Make sure your current tenancy documentation is up to date and that it takes into account the changes brought about by recent legal cases and alterations in government policies. Joining a landlord body such as the RLA who offer more than 120 upto date documents and a landlord forum allowing you to communicate with other landlords helps immensely.
Sweat Your Assets
First impressions count and the private landlord should be looking to the improve the appearance of their property. More so when it comes to marketing it to prospective new tenants. Ensure that the property is presented in a professional manner, whether it is de-cluttering if it is furnished. Redecorating to make sure walls and skirting boards are clean and neat or fitting new handles to doors. Kerb appeal is very important ensure hedges are trimmed, grass is cut and no rubbish a laying around in the garden.
Landlords with four or more buy-to-let mortgages have been warned to prepare for a major headache when new rules next year force lenders into tougher lending assessments.
BTL Lending Changes
From 30 September 2017, any landlord who owns four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties will have to submit income and mortgage details on all of them every time they refinance one, or purchase a new property. New rules laid out by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority.
It means that the volume of work for lenders will increase massively. This could mean some lenders stop lending to such landlords altogether.
BTL Tax Changes
I’m sure most are aware of the new BTL tax changes that came in operation April this year, imposed by the previous Chancellor George Osborne. If not here’s a btl changes post which provides more details.
Hope you find the tips useful, please feel free to comment below…