23
Jul
2015

Landlords – Understanding Your Outgoings

As a landlord, there will always be a number of costs that you will incur. This is true whether you are an experienced landlord or just considering a move into the private rented sector (PRS).

In this article we’ll explain the costs of being a landlord. Some are required by law, while others are optional but might well make your life easier.

Maintaining the Property

Even if you buy the most robust property on the market and select the most careful tenants around, the reality is that sometimes things break.

This means that maintenance can be one of the most frustrating expenses that a landlord encounters. Maintenance problems are by their nature unpredictable and likely to inconvenience your tenants, meaning you need to deal with them quickly. On the plus side, doing so will contribute towards a good relationship with your tenants.

Furnishing the Property

You don’t have to furnish your property, however you may find it may maximise the amount of rent you can charge if you do.

If furnished properties go at a higher rate in your area, then you should look at this as an investment. After the initial outlay of acquiring the furniture, it’s increasing your monthly profit.

If you do furnish a property, make sure you are clear on its condition and keep the receipts. This way, if there is any damage, you can claim the repair costs from the deposit. Mydeposits Northern Ireland has a handy guide to help you compile a robust inventory, which should help in the event you need to prove damage caused by your tenant.

Appliances & White Goods

Tenants tend to expect white goods to be in place when they rent a property. While this is by no means compulsory on your part, you may find it difficult to compete with other nearby rental properties that are providing this facility as standard.

Once again, be sure to include details in the tenancy agreement and inventory on the condition you expect the white goods to be in at the end of the tenancy. If these are not met, costs like cleaning and repair can be deducted from the deposit.

Using a Letting Agent

There are two steps to this decision. Firstly, there is the decision to use a letting agent to help you find a tenant. This will take the pressure off you, but will result in some fees.

Beyond that, you can choose to allow the agent to also manage the property. This will increase the amount you pay, but reduce your involvement.

In the end this comes down to how much work you want your property to be and how much control you want to have over matters such as repairs, collecting rent, etc. If you’d rather have less stress, then letting the agent manage it will achieve this. However, if you want control then this may not be the best approach.

Tenancy Deposit Protection is Required by Law

To comply with the law, you have to protect your tenant’s deposit with a government authorised scheme.

You can choose an option that gives you the maximum benefit. My|deposits Northern Ireland offer both an insurance and custodial based scheme offering you the choice to either keep control of the deposit after paying a small fee to protect it or let us hold the deposit for you.

My|deposits Northern Ireland offers an award winning dispute resolution mechanism, so that you don’t have to go to court if you and the tenant cannot agree about how much of the deposit should be returned at the end of the tenancy. We also offer fantastic customer service so you’re always supported.

What’s Your Biggest Outgoing?

Which expense has taken you by surprise? What advice would you give to new landlords about the outgoings they’re going to encounter? Tell us your stories in the comments section.

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