Register Free Valuation Menu Property Search

Get an instant online valuation in 60 seconds here

Instant Online Valuation

12 Things Every Landlord Must Know

In this 4 min read we will show 12 things every Landlord must know

We serve landlords and tenants across Hackney and East London and take enormously pride in our reputation for looking after our clients.

During our many years running a lettings and property management agency there's not much we haven't experienced. This guide shares the top twelve things that every landlord, regardless of the size of their portfolio, needs to know and understand.

1. Choose your agent very carefully

This is probably your biggest and most important decision. Look at the agent's track record and ask to speak with landlords they work with. Ask to see copies of their relevant insurance policies and trade memberships if needed. Above all choose an agent with experience, professionalism and one you feel you can have a positive and mutually beneficial working relationship with.

2. Price your property competitively

In order to secure the best tenant you need to ideally have several applicants interested. Good quality applicants look for "a good deal", or "value for money". They don't say to themselves, "I want to spend every penny I possibly can on renting a property." Nobody thinks like that.

3. Stay on the right side of the law

Pay attention to the legal side of the business, and it is a business. The industry is becoming very heavily regulated and getting even small things that go wrong can come back to haunt you and cost you so it is vital you are aware and well informed.

4. Be ready for unexpected costs

Budget for unexpected expenditure on the property as well as for void periods. A good idea is to have a separate bank account where money towards maintenance and improvements is saved. Landlords who do not have the finances in place to survive void periods tend to struggle and are under more pressure to let without properly vetting tenants.

5. Get Covered

Seriously consider taking out landlord insurance. This will typically include rent protection and legal protection. Rent protection will pay rent when the tenant defaults and a good legal protection policy covers you against virtually any legal dispute with your tenant. In our experience this is often money very well spent.

6. Use Trusted and Qualified Gas and Electric Experts

When getting your gas and electric safety checks done or important remedial works, it is imperative to use a company or engineer who is above all fully qualified and secondly who is efficient, personable and fully transparent with their fees. We have built a track record of working with exactly these such types of trusted engineers for full peace of mind.

7. Vet your potential tenants VERY carefully

This is a very important tip. Insist that a senior member of the team from your chosen letting agent actually meets the tenants in person to fully vet them and ask important questions to them - and then relays this information to you along with their honest advice as to whether to proceed with them or not. Most agents are solely focused on securing tenants (any tenants) for your property as soon as possible in order to get paid quickly (and so cut corners in this process). We follow this detailed approach as a matter of course with all our tenancies in our mission to ensure that you can make a fully informed decision before signing on the dotted line. It's crucial that you feel comfortable with the long-term relationship you are about to embark upon.

8. Cheap is Rarely Cheerful

When carrying out repairs/refurbishments, don't go for the cheapest options. Poor quality materials usually have a short lifespan and will cost you more in repairs and early replacement later on. It's usually more economical to go for better quality materials that will last considerably longer and prove a wiser investment.

9. Protect your Money

When instructing an agent to represent you, check that they have Client Money Protection insurance. If things go wrong and your agent can't or won't pass on your rent to you, you could end up losing that money without this vital insurance.

10. Take time to Understand your Tenancy Agreement

Read the tenancy agreement early on. Check that it is appropriate to your property and your circumstances. If you have any questions a good letting agent will have no issue in answering them and being fully transparent.

11. Do NOT skip the inventory

Some Landlords (to cut some costs) decide not to carry out a professional inventory prior to the tenants moving in OR they decide to do it themselves. WRONG! A very detailed and professionally created inventory that is then E-signed by the tenants upon them moving in, will be the ONLY piece of evidence you have in the event that you feel you have to deduct some monies from their security deposit (for missing items, damages or a bad cleaning job). In our Let & Manage service, as a matter of course we arrange professional deep cleaners and then a professional inventory company to carry out their duties in the 2 days prior to the tenancy commencing - for your complete peace of mind.

12. Choose Legal Advice Wisely

If engaging a solicitor for legal advice, ensure that they have in-depth knowledge of this very specialised industry. Over the years we've heard stories of solicitors taking clients' money claiming to know what they are doing and then going on to make a mess of it. This can be a very frustrating and expensive experience for the landlord and is one that can be avoided by doing some research and recommendations. Better still, if you engage the services of a competent and professional letting agent, you will very rarely require the services of a solicitor.

Thanks for reading and if you have any other property related questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with us - we'd love to help you.

PS: If you want to let your property quickly, professionally and cost effectively call us on 0207 275 8000 or email for honest, expert and friendly advice.

Find your next property