Top tips for landlords in 2018

The start of the year is the best time to review and refresh your portfolio, and we have some great suggestions for where to start.

 

Legislation 

Did you know that there are currently 160 pieces of legislation relevant to the rental market? But with new regulations and amendments to existing rules coming every year, it can be a constant battle to stay up to date. This is why many landlords turn to a letting agent for advice; we can ensure that your property is compliant with current standards, and you are informed of any upcoming changes that may affect your property.

 

Preparing for E in EPC

We have mentioned before the introduction of a new minimum standard for rental properties in regard to their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). From April, all properties must have a rating of E or above, but as it is believed that the minimum rating will increase again, we would advise landlords who are undertaking improvement work to try and achieve a rating higher than an E to prevent additional void periods whilst work is being carried out.

 

Plan your maintenance 

You will know from your own property that it needs redecorating every couple of years, even if it’s just a fresh coat of paint, as this avoids the need for a major overhaul further down the line. You also need to bear in mind that not keeping on top of your décor could mean that you could lose out financially, as tenants expect high standards and will not be willing to pay a higher rate for a property they can see is not being well cared for.

Overhauls also take time, and time means void periods, which again will hit your bottom line. Therefore, it’s worth putting a 5-year plan together for your portfolio where you schedule in your property’s maintenance and improvement works, you could even involve any long-term tenants in this process.

 

Planning for the unexpected

We’re sure you’ll be allocating a proportion of your rental income each month to pay for the unexpected, such as maintenance costs, new furniture, or even a tax bill. You may have dipped into it over the last couple of months, so now is the time to look at topping that fund back up so that when something occurs you’re completely prepared.

 

Review your financials

Is it time to refinance, or have a review of your lending? It is always worth getting a professional opinion, especially if you have a portfolio of four or more properties. Also, don’t forget your insurance policies, as they should be robust and include public liability as well as any fixtures and furnishings you are supplying in your property, for instance white goods.

 

Visit your local Bidmead Cook branch to see how we can support you to ensure you’re also getting the best out of your portfolio.