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Tips for London Landlords

Renting out a property in London can be wrought with all sorts of difficulties.  Having had some experience in this field and knowing others that do I thought that a short piece with some tips for landlords might be if value to some of my readers who may hope to become landlords at some stage in the future.  If you live in London then there is no shortage of people looking for property.  The problem is matching up the correct people to the right type of property.  At the end of the day a landlord wants the highest income from their property as possible.

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Location & Decide on Your Target Tenant

For those yet to buy a property, then firstly think location. Are you looking to attract professionals, families, students etc.  For each you would need to choose a property accordingly.  Look at school catchment areas for families that is normally a guaranteed rentable property depending on the condition you are trying to let the property in.  For students look for houses near universities that you can rent out as rooms as this will generate a larger income than renting out the whole property.  For professionals you need good links to public transport.

I have always found that renting to professionals yields the least headaches.  So I will base my post around that.

Make sure the Property is of a Living Reasonable Standard

Given you are in a good location the next thing on your list before beginning to advertise and arrange viewings is the condition of the property.  Many a time I have heard people say that the properties they have viewed previously were in poor condition.  It’s not good enough, being lazy with the appearance of the property will reflect in the number of viewings and will make it harder to get the property rented to good tenants.

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Pricing

Do NOT overprice the room / property.  Have you noticed that some properties just don’t see to get viewings?  There is a reason for that and generally they come down to appearance which we have addressed and also to price.  Do your research!!!! What are other SIMILAR properties / rooms etc. renting for in the same area?  Compare the facilities available from other properties to yours and then work out a price.  Some landlords seem to pull a nice sounding number out of the air and think that their run down property can command that fee, think again!  There may be a lot of people wanting to find somewhere in London to rent but on the other side there are also a lot of landlords looking for tenants, be competitive.  Also Londoners want value for money, they need to get it somewhere as everything in London is expensive.  Consider added extras such as wifi within the property and basic tv’s in the rooms as these can make the whole package look that bit more appealing and give your property the added extra that others may lack.

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Avoid Agencies

Avoid using agencies unless you have too!!!! Seriously, unless you are working long full time hours then there really isn’t an excuse.  Renting properties isn’t hard once you have the basics under your belt.  This way you avoid paying agents fees and also get in good tenants.  Needless to say no matter what an agent says the majority look at the bottom line, how much can they get out of renting your property and also how quickly ca it be done so they can move onto the next client.  Once you have had experienced having bad tenants you will learn soon enough but my aim with this post is to help you avoid the nightmare in the first place.

Use a Rent Deposit Scheme

These are a good way to keep the deposit safe for both parties.  Put the deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.  These are listed here: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

You have two options a paid for scheme and one that is free but the paid for one allows for easier access to the deposit by the landlord should the need require.

Landlord Insurance

This is important so don’t think you can do without.  Do your research when looking up who to go with.  A good example is HomeLet who do building and contents insurance and a range of optional extras.  But hey don’t just take my word for it.  Defaqto is a provider of independent financial product information and ratings aiming to provide information to support better decision-making.  These guys have given HomeLet 5 stars this year (2016).  They also have a 5* feefo rating.  A global ratings and reviews provider used by the world’s most trusted brands.  Just to add their prices are 15% cheaper when you buy online.

Check Tenants References

Referencing agency rentchecks.com is great for this, you can find out about any previous payment issues that the prospective tenant may have had and avoid tenants that are likely to default on payments.

Simple Contracts

You can get great contracts for landlords from Lawpacks.co.uk who will be able to sell you a specific contract for your type of property.

When you are Ready!

Simply advertise on sites like Find a Flat, Spare Room or Upad (the latter will handle the initial tenant enquiries for you too).

Planning on renting a property out in London?  What are your tips?

This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. Picking a location is so important because things are completely different during the daytime. I think it’s important to explore a lot before settling down somewhere x

  2. Its so true some properties are so overpriced but luckily the place I am moving into is nice, well sized and stylish and has a lovely landlord.

  3. Not planning on renting out but I have been on the opposite side to this and pregnant with 2 weeks to find a place to live before ending up in a bed and breakfast on my own in a room. And landlords are the fussiest, I have 3 cats and I was pregnant, finding a place was impossible.

    but we are good honest people, who deserve a nice place to live.

    Sorry if This sounds harsh but my biggest tip is that landlords stop thinking with there wallets and start thinking with there hearts and open there eyes a little. Turning away a pregnant girl just because she has cats who may cause a little damage (although they haven’t caused any damage where I live now) Having 3 cats shows Im a nice caring person who has love for animals to the point I took in a stray kitten on the street.
    And you also don’t want me because Im having to claim some benefits so support me while I try and have a family… ???
    Doesn’t having children show a great deal of responsibility and show that if I can be responsible of a child I can be of a flat?

    So just because I have cats means I only deserve the place thats small with damp walls?? Because trust me I got a lot of offers saying we could have them places. The place we ended up renting that let us stay was a MESS when we moved in and we have spent money making it nice for ourselfs. So the landlord is lucky to have us here.

    Sorry for the rant hun. The whole property thing gets me on a real downer as I really want to be able to have a nice house to live in.

  4. Loving the tips you have here. So handy for us if we move back to London.

    1. It’ll help those wanting to started in renting their property.

  5. Great tips – I’ve had some questionable landlords in the past who could do with reading this!

    1. Oh dear Sarah, that’s a shame. They should take note of this.

  6. It must be so hard to decide what to charge, especially with how high rent in London can be.

    1. It all comes down to what people are charging in your area for similar rooms and the state your rooms are of course 😉

  7. I would love to be a landlord but there are so many things to make sure that you have to do

    1. It’s best to cover all the bases and do it properly. Once you have the now how nothing can stop you.

  8. So many good pointers here and though I don’t have a property to rent out, if I did, I would do it myself x

    1. I’d bookmark this for later so you have the links.

  9. I don’t own a property but if I did I think I would like to own one to rent out as it would be a nice little income, I know when I was younger my dad used to rent flats out that he used to own and he always had good tenants x

    1. It’s good to be careful when screening tennants 😉

  10. These is great information for landlords and those wishing to become landlords in the future. I love using spareroom.com when looking for rooms to rent

    1. That’s a good site 😉

  11. So many great tips, I have no idea about anything when it comes to houses!

    1. It’s very interesting but here is a lot to learn.

  12. Great advice for future and current landlords! I don’t even own my own home yet never mind anyone elses but it is still early days.

    1. Bookmark this for later you will need the links x

  13. This was really informative I don’t live in London but renting out our home is something myself and our other half have considered for the future.

    1. Think about whether you want to turn it into flats or rooms the latter will give a slightly larger income but is more work but can be worth it.

  14. These sound like some great tips, I’m not sure I would make a very good landlord myself. x

    1. You never know unless you try. Property is big business and many are trying their hand at it.

  15. I’d love to live in London one day so it’s great to hear from a landlords point of view kind of what it’s like!

    1. London is a great place to live but it can be expensive.

  16. Great information
    Lots of useful tips and suggestions
    Great for my nephew who lives in london

  17. Avoiding agencies as much as possible is definitely a good idea. My parents used to use one and it all ended up as one big disaster with the tenant owing us months of rent, the bailiffs had to be called etc. The agency had messed up the paperwork at the beginning of the renting agreement and it meant that we had to deal with the mess when it ended. argh.

  18. Really useful information here – there’s such a lot of things to consider if you’re thinking of renting out a property!

  19. I imagine it would be so hard to be a landlord in london but so financially rewarding too…. if only I had the cash!! xxx

    1. Not so much it can depend on the area the property is in and the types of people you will be allowing to use the property.

  20. Very interesting and good tips, I sure they could be applied to other areas too 🙂

  21. Can really be expensive in London but with these tips, it can narrow your choices and can lead to savings in purchasing. 🙂

  22. great tips, there’s loads more to being a landlord than just handing over your keys to someone. It’s serious business! x

  23. great tips, i am looking to purchase property to rent out. London is out of my price range i think

  24. I think that the most important thing is to be the landlord you would want to have. that way your tenants renew.

    1. That’s exactly right, if you treat tenants well they generally don’t want to leave.

  25. Great advice! We’re thinking of renting our home at some point, but it’s scary isn’t it?

  26. Ha I can’t possibly imagine owning, let along renting property in London. Sheesh, it’s waaaaaay too expensive for little old me! H x

  27. Brilliant tips. Although from my experience I always go through an agency. I don’t like to have to deal with any issues that arise so prefer not to be the direct contact. Although you’re right you can save a lot by doing it yourself. x

  28. We have friends who are renting their London flat and use a broker for everything else. They say it’s easier that way. I can imagine how expensive flats/houses are in London. Would love to be able to have property there too. But it’s a pipe’s dream for us!

    1. That’s a shame it is a lovely place to live. I love the easy access to shops and the hustle and bustle of central London with the street performers etc.

  29. These are some helpful ideas! Landlords seem to have a lot of work cut out for them before they start renting.

  30. These are great tips for anyone looking to rent out their property.

  31. Great tips and I am sure that these will help a landlord looking for some starter points! We love London!!

    1. I don’t think I could live anywhere else.

  32. Great tips. I hope to be a landlord one day (if i could afford another property) so these are really useful. I didn’t know about the rent deposit scheme so that’s interesting. London is a great investment if you can afford it!

    Alina

    1. Good luck Alina, give it a while as now isn’t a good time to buy.

  33. Sometimes I don’t know how people afford to rent in London. I know my cousins pays a fortune – great tips for those that need it

    1. It is expensive but I do love it in London.

  34. these tips can definitely be applied to outside of london too. amazing tips

  35. Great post, I would love to live in London for a year or 2. Me and the husband said it is something to consider once all the children have grown up. have already left home as time flies..

    1. Make sure you shop around and find a good landlord as well as nice property.

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