8 Things Every Landlord Should Know

Published: 07/03/2024

There are a whole host of things every landlord should know, yet many opt to set up their rental property as quickly as possible, disregarding this essential knowledge.

So, when questions start getting asked about unpaid rent payments, legal responsibilities, and other frustrating circumstances, these landlords are often left scratching their heads, wondering how they got into such a position in the first place.

Whether you've just bought your first property in Morden, or your fifth, being a landlord is a role where you can continually keep learning new things and facing new challenges.

Other than keeping abreast of what's happening in the property market, you also need to ensure that you're following all the latest rules and requirements for landlords.

At Ellisons, we've got more than 35 years of experience working with landlords and dealing with the property market, so we've pretty much seen it all! Our team are ARLA (The Association of Residential Lettings) trained and qualified, meaning that no chances are taken when looking after your property.

To help you keep on top of all that you need to be aware of, we've created a handy list of the eight most essential things that every landlord should know.

8 Things Every Landlord Should Know

Remain aware of what's happening in the property market

The conditions of the housing market are continually changing. First and foremost, a good landlord should keep an eye on property market conditions.
This will help inform you on how to market your property, as well as give you an idea of what price you should be expecting for it. You'll also have a much better idea of the competition if you regularly do your market research. We’re here for that reason and for your benefit. The rental income you achieve from your property needs to allow for a positive return on investment.

Understand the facilities in your property's location

Knowing the local neighbourhood that your property is located in can significantly affect how well you position your property. For instance, here in Morden, there are some excellent schools in the area, so you may want to market your property as a family home. Likewise, if it's located on the commuter belt, you could think about converting it into separate flats to accommodate four individual tenants instead of just one household.

Ensure that your property is up to scratch

When you rent out a property, you need to ensure that it meets certain requirements. You must ensure that it is a liveable space with a safe environment for any tenants that move in. Some of the things you need to consider are:

  • Does it have the necessary smoke alarms?
  • Are there any safety hazards?
  • Are electrical and gas certificates up to date?
Ask our team at Ellisons, as we can help you understand all the legal requirements your property needs to meet before you can rent it out.

Work out your taxes

Before you start getting rent paid into your bank account, you should register with HMRC to ensure that you're taxed accordingly. You'll be taxed on all rental income after the first £1,000. It's important to mention, too, that there are different tax rules for landlords depending on the type of property you own. Look into this on the HMRC website to ensure you're doing all that's legally required.

Set aside some money for emergency funds

As a landlord, you should always be prepared. To remain within your budget, set aside a small amount in case anything goes wrong. For example, if your property is unexpectedly vacant for a short period, you should ensure that you can cover your mortgage payments without rental income. Set some money aside for any unexpected issues as well. No matter how new a property is, wear, tear, and weather conditions may lead to the need for maintenance and repairs.

Comply with all legal requirements

There are many legal requirements that you must follow as a landlord to ensure the safety of your tenants and to avoid fines and penalties. These include:

  • Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Subsequent Amendments. These state that all gas appliances must be safe and checked annually.
  • The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their property is fitted with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. Under these regulations, the landlord is required to make sure that all electrical appliances in the property are safe to use.
  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) & MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards). These state that all landlords must provide a valid EPC certificate to their prospective tenants.
At Ellisons, we can help you arrange everything you need to ensure your rental property is compliant.

Check whether your local council requires any specific licences

Contact your local council to check whether any other licenses are needed before you rent out your property. Some councils will have specific mandatory rules and regulations above and beyond the ones mentioned above.

Learn each tenancy agreement like the back of your hand

Becoming a landlord has plenty of benefits, especially when you have fantastic tenants. However, even after conducting a detailed risk assessment and deeming them as suitable, not every tenant is stress-free!  It’s rare, but sometimes landlords also experience problems with tenants. Perhaps it’s not paying the rent, acting irresponsibly or creating problems for other tenants.

When you are faced with a situation where tenants in one of your rental properties are causing you issues, it's crucial that you know the tenancy agreement inside out to know what your options are.

Whether it's the notice period, the tenancy deposit protection scheme, rent arrears, or anything in between, having this information is crucial for ensuring you are acting firmly but fairly.

Without the relevant experience and knowing the correct procedures, dealing with situations can become challenging. But, it’s all in a day’s work for us and in the event a legal approach is required, we’ve got it covered.

Need expert advice?

Searching for advice on renting out your property?
We represent hundreds of landlords throughout the Morden, Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Colliers Wood and Tooting areas.

Our landlords feel secure knowing that we carry out regular property inspections enabling us to spot potential problems before they become financially draining. Our friendly team are here to help and advise you on property management. Give us a call today on 0208 545 2185.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Local Property Market in Morden

What factors influence property prices in Morden?

Property prices are primarily influenced by location, demand, economic conditions, and local amenities.

How can I estimate the fair market value of a property and its rent potential?

Fair market value is typically determined through comparative market analysis, considering recent sales of similar properties in the area.

What are common challenges when renting a property in the local market?

Common challenges include market fluctuations, property conditions, and effective marketing strategies to attract potential tenants.