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How to become a landlord 

Whether you’re temporarily relocating for work, or your personal circumstances have changed, letting your home is a great way of moving without selling, and potentially earning additional income in the process.

But there are a number of factors you must take into account before deciding whether becoming a landlord is right for you.

Before you talk to a lettings agent

To help you visualise life as a landlord, and to help match your property to the right tenant, ask yourself:

  • How long are you likely to let your home for?
  • What are all the current costs of running your home?
  • What items do you plan to take and what are you happy to leave for tenants?
  • Have you got any electrical or gas safety records?
  • Do you have any information on how the heating works and manuals for appliances?
  • Are there any guarantees on the property an agent should be aware of?

What happens next

Taking this information into consideration, a lettings agent should do the following:

  • Explain what’s happening in your local market.
  • Organise a visit to establish if any work is required to let the property legally.
  • Discuss the achievable rent and advise on any changes which could increase rental potential.
  • Advise you on your responsibilities (including health and safety liabilities) as a landlord and your tenant's rights.

Protecting yourself and your home

You do hear horror stories about tenants causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and ruining relations with the neighbours, though they are few and far between. To guard against such problems, and any others that can arise, a good agent should:

  • Give good advice about the rental value and show comparable evidence, and advise you of all of your legal and health and safety obligations. Once a tenant is found, ensure to arrange reference checks. Savills, for example, has created specialist referencing for high net worth individuals and agreements can be concluded online.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of any changes to landlord and tenant law and be Licensed members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
  • Ensure you have the appropriate buildings insurance and they can refer you to specialist rent loss insurance. Ideally you need a bespoke policy that can compensate you for up to £10,000 per month for loss of rent.

Further information

For more information and advice on letting your property, contact Savills Lettings.

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