Buying To Let - What You Need To Know

Buying to let can be a fantastic investment, and can really help your money work for you, as more often the rent is 125% of the mortgage, meaning you’ll net a tidy profit each month. Although the market can fluctuate, investing money into property is a fairly surefire way to increase your personal wealth. When you buy to let, you essentially become a landlord, and once you become a landlord, there are regulations which you legally need to follow to rent out your premise.

As you now have a responsibility for others, there are certain checks you’ll need to make to ensure their safety. The first thing you may need to check is whether you’ll need to obtain a Houses in Multiple Occupation License, which is an essential certificate for properties which are rented to multiple tenants who share any communal areas, for example the bathroom and kitchen. This is obligatory, and you’ll need to contact your council to get the wheels in motion. You won’t need this if one family are sharing the property.

Health and safety is paramount when buying to let, and there are a number of certificates and checks you’ll need to ensure are completed. You’ll need to get a Gas Safety Certificate, and make sure your electricity, boiler and any electrical devices and furniture are checked, ensuring they meet regulation standards.

Gas appliances will have to be checked once a year minimum, and all assessments should be recorded, evidenced and made available to your tenants if required. PAT testing will also need to be carried out on any electrical devices being supplied by you, for example microwaves and kettles, by a professional body who can confirm they are safe to operate.

As well as maintaining the gas and electrical devices within the property, you’ll need to acquire an Energy Performance Certificate for the property, which clearly states the efficiency of the heating, insulation, water, construction and energy of the premis after testing. Again, these will need to be carried out by professional personnel.

You’ll have to make sure the property complies with fire regulations, and that smoke detectors and fire doors are fitted. It is also advised to make a fire extinguisher and fire blanket available. Companies like Oakwood Doors have a vast range of fire doors which are tested and approved to meet industry standards. The higher the FD code, the longer the door will last against extreme temperatures.

Once the property meets all regulations and you’re ready to move a tenant in you’ll have to draw up a contract between you and them. You’ll want to get a professional person to read over this, or alternatively let an agency handle it for you. You’ll also have to put any deposit which is exchanged into a government approved holding scheme, this protects their money for the future, and allows you to dispute any deposit reductions for damages to the property. Speaking of damages, you may want to invest in landlord buildings and contents insurance.