Other than local knowledge, what you need to know before becoming a landlord in West Bromwich is not that different from what you need to know if you are a landlord anywhere else in the country.
Know Your Market
It is always a good idea to know your market. Who are you aiming to rent your property to? Where in the area do those people usually prefer to live? What is the going rate for monthly rental?
You may prefer to reduce much of the work involved in being a landlord by commissioning letting agents in West Bromwich to manage the property on your behalf. You need to know the best agents for which markets and what the charge for their services.
The West Bromwich area comes under Sandwell Council. The council website has a special page for landlords that contains lots of help and advice.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the property is safe for human habitation. Fire regulations must be upheld, including the installation of smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms where wood-burning stoves or fireplaces are in use.
Landlords should consider asking the local fire service to inspect the premises to conduct a safety check, give advice and point out any concerns.
All gas installations in the building must have been, or be, properly installed by CORGI registered fitters. Similarly, with electricity, wiring, plug sockets etc. should all meet the required standards.
Before a Landlord rents out a property they must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate. This provides tenants with an idea of what their likely fuel consumption will be.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
To safeguard any deposit paid by a tenant, the landlord must pay it into a tenant deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it.
On leaving the property, providing a tenant has not breached their tenancy agreement and has not left any damage, the landlord must agree the amount of the deposit to be returned and pay it over within 10 days.
Right to Rent
Not everyone has the right to rent a residential property in this country; the onus is on landlords to check tenants, and any other occupiers over 18, by examining relevant documentation and keeping a copy.
If a landlord falls foul of these requirements a fine of up to £3000 could be incurred.
Right of Entry
Many people think a landlord can enter a property they have let out at any time. This isn’t true, there are rules governing entry rights.
A landlord can enter a property immediately to deal with an emergency that could put lives at risk or cause substantial damage.
Landlords must give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice before visiting to make repairs, check the property or empty a fuel metre. They must conduct their visit in a reasonable way. Most commonly, reasonable, refers to the time of the visit.
Council Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Sandwell Council operates the HHSRS. Inspectors look at 29 areas in each property. The Council has the right to issue enforcement notices which landlords must act on or appeal against.