There are quite a few factors that a landlord needs to consider before they think of subletting their property to someone else. The factors could range from financial decisions to letting law, and with the increasing costs coupled with regulations being amended and added with each session, the perks of being a proprietor are far and few in between. Nonetheless, there are 5 big mistakes that a proprietor absolutely needs to avoid.
1. Failure In Checking Tenants’ References
For the sake of your own safety, as well as the safety of other tenants, it is very important that you know who you are letting in your property. A thorough background check is quite vital as it will bring about a sense of peace within your tenants. Also, it would lead to you trusting them in the first place- especially when it comes to looking after your home. In the event that you take out rent guarantee insurance, this could simply be a routine requirement of the policy to conduct checks before coming to a tenancy.
2. Incompliance With The Letting Law
Before you end up subletting your property, you need to be well aware of the rules that govern a landlord. For example, you need to be well versed with the Housing Act of 2004, which contains the main housing legislation for the properties in England and Wales. The law requires proprietors to meet the legal standards for the condition of PRS housing. The government has also brought forth a list of hazards that one would have to look out for which comes under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
In the event that you have more than one individual living on your property, you as a proprietor need to be aware of the rules which come under the legislation of Houses in Multiple Occupation. Your place of residence could very well fall under this category if you have more than 3 tenants living in it.
Eviction rules are also important for a landlord to understand. There are quite a few eviction options that depend on the situation. One of them is Section 21 for proprietors in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, there are a few legal precedents that need to be fulfilled in order to indict a case of possession.
3. Updating Contact Details as a Landlord
Since the time you let someone in your house as a tenant, you need to make sure that you have the correct contact details of your tenants. Poor communication can pose quite a big problem in this relationship which you share with the person you are subletting your house. In the event that they need your help, your contact details would be quite prudent as a landlord.
4. Routine Checks Of Your Property
As a landlord, the least you can do is conduct periodic inspections of your property which would allow you to look out for maintenance issues. In fact, this may also help you deal with any issues that might be developing while making sure that your property is in good shape. Remember, before you conduct any inspection, you need to inform your tenants with a written notice a day before and the inspection should be conducted at an appropriate hour which falls under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
5. Failure To Bring About Proper Insurance
As a landlord, a rented property will be covered under different laws than the one which governs an owner-occupied home. And this is precisely due to the multiple risks that are involved with subletting. The mortgage you have may need you to fork out a Landlord Insurance Policy. In several regions, failure to do so would entail you have breached the conditions of your mortgage contract. In any case, a comprehensive policy is quite important to have- as it would include covers such as malicious damage or accidents by your tenants.
According to James Collins, there are several responsibilities that one needs to consider before being a landlord. But before everything else, you need to remember that you are providing shelter to someone which will work a long way towards guaranteeing their safety. And since they have placed their responsibility on your hands, the least you can do is make sure that it is well taken care of.