Whether it’s your tax affairs, new lettings regulations, gas safety or property efficiency, there’s plenty of research for landlords to enjoy at the start of the year while we start to look forward to a successful 2019. Here’s some of our top ideas for buy-to-let landlords:
1. Do your reading when it comes to changes in legislation
It’s possibly more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest landlord legislation, as there’s over 160 pieces of regulation currently in order and relevant to the tumultuous rental industry. Whether you’re a HMO landlord, multi-landlord or accidental landlord, there’s plenty of reading for you to do when it comes to property matters. Make sure you’re up to speed on the latest for: right-to-rent checks, gas and electrical safety, boiler servicing and HMO licencing as these were all hot topics in 2018.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to maintaining your property or complying with new legislations, consider approaching your local Leaders lettings team for more information on property management services.
2. Stay one step ahead of the tax man
The final deadline for submitting your self-assessment and paying any money you owe as a landlord is 31st January 2019. We know it can be overwhelming when you try to keep on top of the changes that occur to tax legislation as each year passes, but your tax return is important. The main expenses for landlords typically include: service charges and ground rents, repair and replacement costs, insurance premiums for your rental property and fees occurred by accounting, conveyancing or mortgage interest.
If you’re a first time landlord, multi-landlord or just short on time, arrange for an accountant to help consolidate your earnings and expenses.
3. Property maintenance on the horizon? Get organised!
Whilst we’re still enjoying unseasonably warm weather, last year’s exceptionally cold spell seems still fresh in our minds. Unfortunately, long after the novel enjoyment of fresh snow has faded, many property owners are swamped with weather-related issues, like broken boilers and burst water pipes. As with many problems, prevention is better than cure, so make sure to keep on top with all your property maintenance checks and works, preferably before the cold weather sets in. With the coldest time of the year fast approaching, start booking in essential works or cosmetic improvements now, so your tenants have plenty of notice and your contractors still have availability. It’s also a nice touch for your tenants to know that you have their best interests at heart.
4. Start reviewing your finances
We received two base rate rises in 2018, so it’s not a bad idea to start shopping around for your next fixed mortgage terms sooner rather than later. You’ll typically find some great mortgage products in the new year, and five year fixed terms are currently offering all-time low rates, so start shopping! Our panel of experienced mortgage advisors are able to compare hundreds of lenders and could help save you thousands over the course of your next mortgage term. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to remortgaging your properties, why not get in touch?
5. Make sure your landlord insurance covers all eventualities
Many landlords think that general building and contents insurance protects them sufficiently from damage to their rental homes, but this simply isn’t the case. Landlords should always have a robust insurance policy specifically for their rental properties, which includes public liability insurance, insurance for your white goods and furnishings and also cover for loss of income. If you’re not up to date with the latest landlord insurance policies, starting some research as you head towards the New Year is a great idea.
We know there’s lots to think about when you’re a landlord, so if you’d like additional help identifying your top priorities for 2019, contact your local branch today.