Renting a home in the UK will no longer be taboo in 2009, according to James Davis, founder of online property rental site, www.upad.co.uk.
He predicts that the UK property market is heading towards the European model where it is commonplace for people to rent, as opposed to buy somewhere to live. And he believes the number of rental properties available could potentially increase by 25 percent to over four million.
Here, Davis offers his top ten tips for being a successful landlord in 2009:
1. Improve your property: there are a number of simple, low-cost measures that landlords can take to improve their properties, to save both them and their tenants money. This could include: installing energy saving light bulbs, checking the thickness of loft insulation, fitting lagging to pipes and water tanks, draught proofing and turning down thermostats.
2. Maintain your property over the winter: be prepared for burst pipes, boiler breakdowns, leaking roofs and make provision for these.
3. Buy to let mortgage rates: are beginning to come down. Get a mortgage agreement in principle, up to six months prior to your current mortgage ending.
4. Maintain close contact with your tenant: this is likely to lead to greater sharing of information, and your tenant paying the rent in full and on time.
5. Be aware of the changes to household benefits payments: new changes were introduced in 2008. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) applies to new claims for Housing Benefit (HB) for tenants renting accommodation from private landlords.
6. Carry out market research: make sure you price your rental charges accurately and according to market rate.
7. Energy Performance Certificates: became a legal requirement for all new lets in October 2008. Make sure you are on top of this, and don’t be caught out by your tenant.
8. References: make sure you request references for new tenants.
9. Locking in longer: where possible, try to lock in good tenants to secure a longer tenancy period.
10. Emergency procedures: provide your tenants with emergency telephone numbers, either for yourself or for a maintenance professional – this will save you, and them time and hassle.
upad is ‘reinventing renting’; a new free online service that helps renters to find their ideal place to live. Using upad’s state-of-the-art technology, renters can, for the first time, search properties by key criteria such as availability of parking, outside space, broadband connectivity, a security alarm or even laundry facilities.
The company has the largest choice of homes to rent in the capital (82,000), and will be rolled out across other major UK cities during 2009.
upad (www.upad.co.uk) is a new online service that connects renters to landlords to help them find their ideal property quickly and easily. Launched in October 2008 under the banner ‘reinventing renting’, the company’s innovative approach is aimed at filling a gap in the property rental market.