Do you need a license? Tips on renting out property

Some Councils in England have introduced landlord licensing. In this article I provide some renting tips to  help you with information you need to rent out property. Whether you are renting out a single property or a house of multiple occupation (HMO) property, you will need to follow the tips that come with the territory. Some HMOs attract compulsory licensing already so you need to look up the legislation with regards to HMOs. Wales has introduced compulsory licensing for all landlords and Scotland requires all landlords to be registered but not all need licenses. It is a bit of a minefield. Here are a few tips to help you rent out your property and sleep at night. The list is not exhaustive though but it looks at some of the key points that need to be considered in the current renting climate.

  • Find out if you need a license for renting out property

There are some councils in England that have introduced compulsory licensing. This is called Selective Licensing. You will need to get in touch with your local council to see if you need a license. If so you will need to apply for a license. There will be a cost involved but there is no way around it. You will be able to let your property once your license goes through. If the licensing is introduced after you have let a property you just need to comply with the rules that the council has introduced and apply for the license within the timescale they have set. Nottingham council are currently in consultation about introducing licensing and are planning to charge hefty fees of £600 per property which landlords are understandably concerned about.

Rather than repeat the work that someone else has done, you can find an article here which has a relatively up-to-date list of councils in England with licensing schemes but you should definitely check with your own council before renting out a property

  • Always stay on top of your repairs

By doing your best to maintain the property, it will allow you the opportunity to keep everything up to par and to serve your tenants well. Legislation requires landlords to respond appropriately to tenants who request repairs and if the response is not satisfactory the tenant can complain to the council who can issue the landlord with a repair order. If you are in breach of an adequate response you will not be able to serve a tenant with notice. The legislation was introduced in response to some landlords evicting tenants who requested repairs. Build a team of professionals who can deal with any sort of ongoing or large scale repairs. By having maintenance contractors on your list, you will be in good hands and able to keep your properties at their best, while satisfying current legislation.

  • Focus on taxes and insurance

It is critically important that you always remain aware of your tax and insurance obligations. I have produced quite a few videos relating to the current changes to tax on finance interest and these can be viewed via my YouTube Channel.

You also need to insure your property, usually with buildings insurance but you will need contents insurance if you let a furnished property. Mortgage companies insist on buildings insurance so make sure that you have the appropriate cover. If you keep on top of these logistical issues, you’ll be covered every step of the way.

These tips form a part of the letting process and they will assist you with some of the things you need to know about renting out property in England. No matter where in England you live, there will be some important steps to bear in mind which will be incredibly useful to you. These strategies are an excellent way for you to go about renting out property, while also making sure that you are operating within the relevant law. If you factor in these points, you will be able to tackle rentals in your and ensure a smooth running of your buy to let portfolio. Feel free to download my ‘Legal Landlord Checklist’.

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