The credit crunch and the resulting low interest rates on savings has ensured that many people have looked at alternative ways to increase their financial standing. Purchasing a property and renting it out has become a worthwhile alternative for many people. Buy-to-let mortgages are extremely popular and allow individuals to buy a property using credit with the sole intention of renting the property to a third party. Before considering taking the plunge and becoming a landlord, there are a few things to consider both from a legal and safety viewpoint.
The importance of health and safety
Before you rent a property to someone you must first ensure that it is a safe and healthy environment in which to reside. There are many regulations to consider with regards to health and safety, each of which must be carefully adhered to. Failure to comply with any of these regulations can result in major problems should an accident occur in the property. One such regulation is in relation to furniture and in particular; fire prevention. Each item of furniture must meet the regulations set out so that they are fire resistant. Old furniture will certainly not pass the official assessment.
Many unfortunate incidents occur each year due to gas leaks. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning and even gas explosions. Regulations note that all gas appliances and equipment must be “Gas Safe”. This certification has taken over from the previous CORGI approved certificate and is a legal document that all landlords should possess. Additionally, it is advisable to ask a registered electrician to check the wiring in the property. Guidelines state that if the wiring is over 15 years old it must be checked at least once a year.
Make sure that you have the correct insurance
It is vitally important that you possess a relevant landlord insurance policy. Companies such as More Than landlord insurance offer policies to suit the needs of each individual. Should an accident occur in the home and possessions, furniture or the whole home is damaged these policies will cover everything financially. Standard insurance policies are not advisable as they fall short in a number of key aspects. Becoming a landlord can be a rewarding but initially costly project and it is important to ensure that you are covered by a suitable insurance policy.
According to recent reports by the Telegraph newspaper, almost one in five properties in the UK are owned by landlords. It is certainly an attractive alternative to low interest rates savings providing individuals are aware of the basic requirements associated with it.