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Are You an Accidental Landlord?

Not all landlords make a deliberate decision to invest in property - many become a landlord either through inheriting a property or as a result of moving in with a partner with both already owning a home.  

If this is you, then it’s important that you know your obligations – because although being a landlord can be very rewarding, getting it wrong can be costly.

Choose your agent wisely

A professional letting agent can help you start your journey as a landlord.  They will help you set the rental amount and advertise the property to prospective tenants.

However, asking for too much rent could leave you with an unnecessary void period, but set it too low – and you’ve missed an income opportunity.

Meanwhile, how do you know whether the applicant is a suitable prospective tenant?

An experienced and professional letting agent will conduct thorough tenant referencing and help you with every step on your journey as you become a landlord.

Is your property rental ready?

At haart, we believe tenants should have the choice of quality homes. Good quality tenants will be attracted to the smartest homes and are also more likely to take care of the property.

Therefore, before putting it on the market, take look around to see whether it really is ready to rent.

Could it benefit from a lick of paint, new flooring or perhaps would it be wise to give the kitchen or bathroom a revamp? What about the garden – is there anything you could do to reduce the maintenance?


The boiler must be serviced every year, and the Gas Safety Certificate must be passed to the tenant before the tenancy starts.

The property must also have functioning smoke alarms, and if it has solid fuel appliance, then you need to install carbon monoxide monitors.

Electrical safety

In addition to the gas safety requirements, landlords also need to ensure the electrics and wiring within the property are safe. All landlords must appoint a registered electrician to complete a check and issue an EICR certificate; this must be done every five years.

Licensing Scheme requirements

If you choose to let the property to more than three people from more than one family, and they share key facilities like bathroom and kitchen then it is likely to be classed as an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) meaning it will be subject to licensing conditions.

However, it could also be subject to additional licensing if it is in an area which is designated as requiring a selective licence, as determined by the local authority.

Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

In almost all circumstances, it is a legal requirement that a property must have an energy rating of at least an E before it can be let to a private tenant. You may have an EPC if you purchased the property within the last 10 years, however if not, then you need to get an assessor out. 

If it has a poor rating then don’t panic, then the assessor will provide some guidance about how to increase the energy efficiency of the property and in some cases, you could make some relatively low-cost improvements.

Rent and Legal protection

It would be wise to protect the rental payments with rent and legal protection, which is designed to cover the rental payments if the tenant can’t - or won’t pay.

Some policies will include the legal fees involved in evicting a problem tenant, as well as covering the rent for up to 15 months whilst vacant possession is arranged. Additionally, some policies pay a portion of the rent whilst a new tenant is found.

There are approximately 150 different pieces of legislation which cover letting; reassuringly, all of our branches have ARLA qualified staff and our team undertake SafeAgent training, ensuring both you and your property will be in expert hands.