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Considerations before becoming a landlord in the UK

Learn how to become a landlord with our guide. Including the steps to follow, plus the advantages of becoming a landlord.

Becoming a landlord can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be very challenging. You’ll need support and advice to help guide you, especially when you’re just getting started. That’s why we’ve created this guide on how to become a UK landlord.

We’ve covered the advantages of becoming a landlord and given some handy tips and the costs involved.

Wondering how to become a landlord?

The truth is, you’ll need to do a little research to ensure you aren’t missing anything important.

Below we’ve put together some of the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Budget for essential costs (more on this later).
  2. Find the right property.
  3. If necessary, apply for a buy to let mortgage.
  4. Apply for landlord insurance.
  5. Choose whether to manage the property yourself or through a management agency.
  6. Bring the property up to code, ensuring that it meets the regulations for fire safety. This includes checking the gas and electrical connections plus installing fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  7. Finally, find tenants.
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Advantages of becoming a landlord

landlord costs and contractsWhile it’s true that being a landlord can be difficult at times, there are many benefits to becoming a landlord.

The main advantage is that you’ll make a profit each month. You can also look forward to the following extra benefits:

  • The freedom to run your property business your way.
  • Tax breaks on things like repairs, gardening and decorating.
  • Financial security – you can depend on your rented property to bring in a certain profit each month.
  • Owning an asset.

Tips for becoming a landlord for the first time

Becoming a landlord for the first time can be a little scary but looking at the bigger picture will help you to see the amazing potential that comes with renting out a property. If you’re feeling a little in over your head, use the below tips to get the most out of this opportunity:

  • Advertise your property online to find new tenants quickly.
  • Remember to see your rental property as a business, not as a home. Many landlords waste money on unnecessary cosmetic renovations.
  • Make sure to screen future tenants and conduct background and credit checks.
  • Hire a property management company to deal with the day to day running of your property.
  • Ask your tenants to get contents insurance to cover damaged possessions.
  • Be realistic about the rent you charge. Ensure it covers your outgoings and leaves you with a profit but don’t overcharge or you’ll struggle to find tenants.
  • Always ensure you have a legal rental agreement signed by both parties.
  • Consider allowing your tenants to pay their rent online.

Typical landlord costs

how to become a landlord ukAs a landlord, there are a few different costs you’ll need to budget for. If you don’t prepare for these outgoings, you may find yourself in a difficult situation that’ll affect the running of your property. Some of the key costs for landlords include:

  • A deposit
  • Stamp duty
  • Maintenance costs
  • Mortgage fees
  • Agency fees
  • Mortgage payments
  • Work that needs to be done on the property including refurbishment costs, repair costs and the price of bringing it up to code

Looking for professional help?

Running a property comes with a range of demands in order to keep your tenants safe and secure in their homes. You may have DIY experience, but there are instances where you’ll need professional help to keep your property well maintained and above board. For example, it’s essential that the electrics and gas in the property are up to standard at all times.

So, how do you find quality tradespeople to work in your property? Well, why not consider going through Checkatrade? We thoroughly check all our members to ensure you get the best service possible every time. Just use our free search feature to connect with experts you can trust, who are recommended by local customers.

Becoming a landlord can be a complicated process so it’s likely you’ll need advice and support on your journey. Two fantastic places to find helpful articles and guidance are the Landlord Association and the National Residential Landlords Association websites. With help on key issues like mortgages, tenant checks and taxes, you’ll be sure to find the answers to your burning questions.

Which tradespeople should you use for the job?

This really depends on the job that needs doing in your property. For example, any electrical work should be done by a qualified electrician and gas work needs to be done by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. Alternatively, a general builder can help with a wide range of renovations while a decorator can manage small internal design changes.

How much does a landlord safety certificate cost?

As we mentioned previously in this guide, there are a few legal requirements for landlords that need to be followed. These include gas and electrical safety checks. As a landlord, you’ll need up to date certificates showing your property is safe for tenants to live in. While these do come at a cost, it’s worth it to have peace of mind that your tenants aren’t at risk.

To learn more, check out our gas safety certificate cost guide and our electrical safety check cost guide. There you’ll find prices, how to apply for these checks and the reasons why they’re so important. For reference, the average cost of a gas safe certificate is £80, and the average cost of an electrical safety certificate is £212.50.

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