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I'm going to purchase a buy-to-let property – renting property is easy right?

Renting out investment property could provide you with a decent return for your investment compared to the rates of interest available in banks and building societies today.Indeed the decent income combined with the capital growth that the property market has seen in recent years has lured many more people to consider investing in property that previously have not done so.

But investors must be cautious; as with any investment there are risks, and letting property carries its fair share of risks to the investor.

You've bought a flat or house which you intend to let out, but what next?Firstly, you must ensure your mortgage provider is aware and has consented to you letting the property out before you do so, otherwise you may be in breach of the terms of your mortgage which can result in repossession.

Is the property suitable for letting, or do you need to take steps to bring it up to a safe and suitable standard? All rented properties must have an EPC carried out and this must be provided to the tenants. EPCs last 10 years, so if you recently purchased the property you can provide them with the one you received during the purchase process.

Aside from the legal requirements to obtain an annual Gas Safety certificate, Landlords must ensure working smoke alarms are installed and would be wise to have any electrical appliances provided with the property PAT tested to ensure safety of the tenants.

If you intend to let the property furnished or part furnished, you must also ensure that the furnishings conform to the legal fire resistant standard. It may be that the house qualifies as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in which case you must obtain an HMO licence and this must be provided to the tenants at the outset.

You've had safety checks carried out on the gas and electrical appliances, your furniture is compliant, you've had smoke alarms installed throughout and the property generally is in a good condition with all locks and windows working properly. That's it right, I can just move my tenants in and start banking their rent?

Maybe, but finally if you take a deposit, you must remember to register it with a recognised deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receipt, and to provide the tenants with the Prescribed Information at the same time, otherwise you may be held liable to return the deposit in full and pay up to three times the deposit to the tenants as compensation for your non-compliance with this statutory requirement.

Oh, and on top of all of these pre-rental considerations you will need a comprehensive and up to date Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which must be entered into by all adults intending to occupy the property. Jamieson Alexander can prepare a Tenancy Agreement tailored to meet your specific needs for a very reasonable fixed fee. We can't guarantee you a trouble free tenancy, but we can reassure you that in the event of problems arising our comprehensive tenancy agreement will enable you to take control and if necessary evict your tenants through due process. We can help you with the eviction process too, if it comes to that. Read more on our Property Law page or contact us now.


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