What every landlord needs to know
So you want to rent out a property. Where do you begin?
Well, first of all you need to get into the right mindset because being a landlord isn't a hobby. If you are going to profit from it — and, presumably, that's why you want to do it — you'll need to think of it as a business.
To make things easier, you could hire the services of a letting agent; or you can go it alone and be a DIY landlord. Whatever you decide, your rental property needs to be in a good state of repair — and remember: when something goes wrong with, say, the plumbing, heating, hot water or wiring, you'll be the one called in to sort it out.
You will also need to provide a gas safety certificate and a registered engineer will need to check appliances. Electrical equipment also has to be checked. Smoke alarms need to be installed and carbon monoxide alarms fitted in rooms with a solid fuel appliance.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is also a legal requirement. New laws mean that from 2018 it will be illegal to rent out property with an energy efficiency ratings of F and G.
Above all, before you take the plunge, do your homework and talk to others who have been or are landlords, and join an association.