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4 ways to make being a landlord low-risk
Renting out a property is a fantastic way of boosting your income and while being a landlord has many benefits, there are also a number of risks involved.
From physical damage to the property to insurance claims, naturally, you want to protect your investment and the good news is that with some careful planning, you can dramatically help to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring. Below we have highlighted four ways to make being a landlord low-risk.
Insure your property
Allowing complete strangers to live in your property is a huge risk because you don’t know how well they will look after it. Sometimes, things can also happen which are out of the tenant’s control which is why it’s crucial to insure your property against damage.
Make sure your property is following legal requirements
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are safe in your property. Familiarise yourself with all the legal requirements of renting your home out. (https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property). Some of these include:
- Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
- Provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
- Put deposits in a government-approved scheme
- Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and working properly
- You will have extra financial responsibilities such as paying income tax on your rental income and you may also have to pay class 2 National Insurance
Remove any environmental hazards
Environmental hazards can’t always be seen. For example, you may not know there’s lead paint dust in your property until a tenant becomes ill because of it, you may have a gas leak somewhere or electrical wiring may have come loose.
Every time a new tenant moves in, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough inspection of the property to ensure it’s safe. Other ways you can address environmental hazards (https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Environmental-Hazards.aspx) before they cause serious damage include:
- Encourage tenants to report any issues such as leaks, problems with the heating and the presence of mould
- Hire someone to look after your maintenance if this is something you don’t have time to do yourself
- Have all your electrical appliances tested before tenants move in
- If the survey on your property addressed potential issues, have these looked at before the damage become severe
Protect your properties from break-ins
The responsibility of protecting your home from burglaries is of course largely down to your tenants because it’s them who needs to remember to lock doors and windows when they’re not home.
To help ease your mind however, there are a number of extra security measures you can employ including:
- Rather than having doors which have to be manually locked every time someone enters of leaves the property, install doors which are automatically locked once they’re shut. This way you don’t have to worry about people going out and forgetting to lock-up.
- Most break-ins happen through patio doors because they’re large and can’t be seen from the street. Ensure your locks on these doors are just as secure as the ones you would use on your front door and install strong glass that can’t be easily smashed.
- Another easy access point for burglars is through windows. You can however make yours more secure by installing window shutters. As well as providing an extra barrier which will act as a deterrent, it can stop people accessing your property even if a window has been left open. Additionally, people won’t be able to see into the property so they won’t know when your tenants aren’t home.