Property inventory vital, says NLA

by Sarah Ashcroft

Creating a property inventory describing the condition of the property in detail, along with the furnishings, is a vital step for all landlords. This is just one of the pieces of advice being offered by the National Landlords Association (NLA) as an increasing number of people enter the private rented sector.

House prices could fall by as much as five per cent this year, according to Knight Frank, while a recent NLA survey shows average yields are now around 6.7 per cent. Such is the current housing market that the Association of Residential Letting Agents is reporting a sharp rise in "reluctant landlords" who are renting out their homes because they cannot find a buyer.

NLA chairman David Salusbury suggests that if house prices continue to fall, many more people will be signing tenancy agreements. "There are currently a record number of people searching for rental properties, meaning would-be landlords would have no problem finding a tenant," he explains.

"Letting a property can be a rewarding experience and an effective way of providing additional income, but prospective landlords will need to remember they are effectively starting a small business.

"They must ensure they are well aware of the rules and regulations governing the letting of private residential accommodation."

To help would-be landlords make the transition, the NLA has offered some tips. In addition to a property inventory, it notes that a government-authorised deposit protection scheme is a must.

Landlords should also look for a "proper" tenancy agreement, that they and the tenant sign. This will outline the length of the tenancy, amount of rent, when it is to be paid, and deposit details, the NLA explains.

It is also important for gas appliances to be checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide the tenant with a Gas Safety Certificate.

Landlords are advised to take out comprehensive landlord insurance to protect their property and ensure repairs are fixed promptly.

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Published on: January 12, 2012

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