How to buy to let

Landlord's Checklist

It’s not just a case of finding a rental property. You also need to uphold your legal obligations as a landlord, and make sure you pay all the taxes that come with that title.

Here's a checklist of some of the responsibilities and considerations that come with letting a property:

  1. 1

    Gas Safety and Energy Performance Certificate

    You must be able to provide your tenants with up to date certificates and have all gas appliances serviced regularly, usually once a year.

  2. 2

    Make sure the property is insured

    For a lot of mortgages, you will need to have buildings insurance. It can pay to shop around to find the right policy for you.

    If you're buying a property to rent out, you can also choose to take out landlord insurance, but it's not compulsory.

  3. 3

    Managing the property

    It’s up to you whether you decide to manage the property yourself or use an agency.

    Regarding your tenants’ deposits, these will be subject to the compulsory Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. This scheme ensures that third-parties look after deposits and can help in resolving disputes and problems between you and your tenants. 

  4. 4

    Budgeting for any maintenance and redecoration

    Make sure you take into account any work you'll need to do before you rent the property out, from a lick of paint to updating the kitchen. Remember also that as a landlord, you will need to ensure the property meets all required safety standards, such as fire precaution measures.

    And of course, you could get hit by unexpected costs like a broken washing machine or boiler issues.

  5. 5

    Keeping up with tax payments

    Your rental income (after deducting day-to-day property expenses) needs to be included in your total income for Income Tax.

    If you decide to sell the property, any profits over a certain threshold mean you’ll have to pay Capital Gain Tax. You can get more information on gov.uk

  6. 6

    If your property is empty

    Your property could be empty in between tenants, so you'll need to make sure you can still pay your mortgage during this time.

  7. 7

    Understanding the risks of being a landlord

    Being aware of any potential risks of renting in the private sector can help in giving you and your tenants more security.

    There is information available to help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and the Residential Landlords' Association has published various guides and documents. These guides cover things like setting up a tenancy, data protection, tax, benefits and payments.

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