Follow the 'golden rules' of letting

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords should stick to one or two "golden rules" when letting out their properties, it is claimed. Before signing tenancy agreements, for example, owners of a house or flat ought to carry out a thorough tenant check, according to David Lawrenson, private rented sector expert at LettingFocus.com.

This is just one of the basic principles that should guide landlords. The other main thing to consider is the type of property. Landlords should "pick an area which has got a strong economy behind it and where there is strong demand from tenants", he explains.

These "golden rules" will help ensure landlords get the best returns and minimise the chance of rent going unpaid. Following the advice could prove particularly valuable at a time when rent increases are slowing.

Rental prices increased at a slower rate towards in the early part of the year as some tenants began to resist the sharp rises in rent levels seen in recent quarters, according to the latest Residential Lettings Survey from the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (Rics). Indeed, landlords could find they have more call for a section 8 notice to evict tenants in arrears, as many are unwilling to pay higher rents.

Rics spokesperson Michael Newey commented: "With many potential first time buyers having been forced into rented accommodation due to problems with obtaining affordable mortgage finance, rental prices have grown quickly across much of the country in recent times.

"However, it seems that tenants may be becoming less willing to meet increasing rental values."

Despite the findings from Rics, many more people are finding themselves renting out property for the first time. Platform revealed last week that a fifth of its recent buy-to-let business has come from accidental landlords - homeowners who choose to let out their existing property instead of selling it when they are looking to move to a new home.

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Published on: March 7, 2012

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